Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sanctuaries 'last resort' to save sharks in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government’s move to declare three marine parks as shark sanctuaries is the ‘last resort’ to prevent further decline of the species.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the government and authorities could not do much to curb shark hunting and finning in Sabah unless and until the Fisheries Act was amended.

“Unless laws are enforced and the state is given more powers to deal with the issue, we will only see unnecessary killing of sharks.

“We can do the next best thing to protect our sharks, by declaring marine parks as shark sanctuaries to make it illegal to catch sharks in these parks,” he told reporters at his ministry’s Raya open house.

The function held on Tuesday night at the Sabah National Culture and Arts Department grounds was attended by the ministry’s workforce and their families.

Yesterday, pictures showing dead sharks with their fins severed believed to be taken from Mabul Island off Semporna were found circulating on the internet.

“The photos we see [on the internet] are what we have been opposing and talking about in the last few years...shark hunting and finning simply cannot continue.