During a visit by members of the Jamat to the Bahrain National Museum, Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen offered them a guided tour of the exhibition. Young members of the Jamat also had the opportunity to hear from Prince Hussain about his work and experiences capturing photos of sea life in different parts of the world.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities; the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage; and Focused on Nature, an organisation created by Prince Hussain to promote awareness of environmental causes through photography, and to support charities focused on restoring ocean ecosystems, marine biodiversity, rainforests, and endangered animal species.
“I do this, so people get a close look at how extraordinary these animals are and how our actions are endangering them,” said Prince Hussain. During his presentation, he emphasised the importance of saving marine life and described how finning has impacted the shark population.
Prince Hussain also explained that sharks, one of the most diverse families of animals on the planet – there are over 500 species of sharks worldwide – have an unfortunate, undeserved reputation. Misconstrued as a leading cause of human casualties, sharks contribute to fewer than eight casualties each year, versus the number of sharks killed by humans exceeding that by the hour. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year.
“Being a nature lover, this experience was enriching and enlightening, especially getting first-hand knowledge from Prince Hussain about his learning of sea life and the unique features of sharks,” said Samina Shehzad, a visitor to the exhibit.
The Living Sea exhibition sheds light on efforts to conserve marine life. It stresses the importance of protecting the biodiversity of marine organisms from human activities such as overfishing, plastics, and dumping waste into the sea, which has led to a deterioration of habitats and lives of marine creatures.
The marine environment represents about 91 per cent of the total land and water area of the Kingdom of Bahrain. This environment includes some of the most important strategic resources for the Kingdom and plays a crucial role for its people. More than 90 per cent of Bahrain's population lives on the coast.
With this in mind, Bahrain has established institutions, government agencies and committees to devise programmes, policies and strategies to achieve sustainability with its various dimensions. It has also enacted several laws and regulations to help achieve sustainable development, which has become an international requirement amid the economic, political, and social changes witnessed by the international community.
“It was a breathtaking experience. I truly enjoyed the pictures that reflected the diversity of life, the beauty and the colours of the underwater world,” said eight-year-old Alyan Allana. “Inspired by Prince Hussain’s work, we can all be ambassadors of the ocean.”
The Living Sea exhibition is on display at the Bahrain National Museum until 9 March 2023.