Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sabah First in Asia to ban Shark Trade

Campaign heats up to save millions of sharks from being killed for food
By Oliver Majaham
Pictures by Ille Tugimin
Sharks evolved 400m years ago to keep oceans healthy. As predators, they rule the underwater world. But they are losing a battle against man. The latest score: Sharks have killed 13 people so far this year. Man kills 73m of them every year largely for their fins which are turned into a culinary delicacy in Asia. Now environmentalists are stepping up a worldwide campaign to stop people from eating them. And Sabah may become the first in Asia to ban shark hunting next year.
Shark finning in Taiwain. <i>Picture: Pew Environmental Group</i>Shark finning in Taiwain. Picture: Pew Environmental Group
The world trade in shark fins is about 2.5 billion ringgit ($800m) a year. There are no figures for Sabah’s. But divers have complained that they are seeing fewer sharks in Layang Layang, off Labuan Island, home to the badly endangered hammerhead sharks. Other shark haunts are Lankayan Island, Roach Reef and Sipadan Island off Sabah’s east coast.
Hazel OakleyHazel Oakley
Hazel Oakley of the Green Connection, an aquarium and science centre in Kota Kinabalu, says 98% of sharks have been killed in South-East Asia.
Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s minister of tourism, environment and culture, now wants laws to ban shark hunting and finning next year to save the north Borneo island state’s diving and tourism industry. The diving business is worth 195m ringgit a year and gives jobs to 2,000 people. The Sabah government has already banned shark fin soup, the most popular and prized delicacy, from its luncheons and dinners.

The government will add sharks to its list of protected endangered animals and mammals under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997. A wildlife department official says this will mean that sharks cannot be hunted, killed, finned or traded. This law also protects the rare Sumatran rhinoceros and the orang-utans.
But Masidi wants the federal government to place sharks on the list of protected species under the Fisheries Act of 1985 that will outlaw shark hunting and finning in Sabah waters. This is to avoid legal disputes since federal laws override state laws.
Shark fins are dried in the sun. <i>Picture: Pew Environmental Group</i>Shark fins are dried in the sun. Picture: Pew Environmental Group
“It makes economic sense to us to ban shark hunting and finning to protect our tourism industry,” he said at the launch of a campaign against shark fin soup in Kota Kinabalu last month.
“It is in keeping with sustainable tourism. If we continue to eat sharks, sooner or later they will disappear from this part of the world. Our priority is to save whatever remaining sharks in Sabah waters. The sooner we get it done the better.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed 233 shark species on its Red List. Twelve are “critically endangered” and 126 of them risk extinction.
Taiwan has just announced that it will ban shark finning next year, starting in September. But it stops short of banning shark catching and a lucrative shark trade. Critics say sharks can still be sold in Taiwan minus the fins. The difficulty is proving who sliced off the fins, they say. About 4m sharks are caught off Taiwan waters yearly, making the island the biggest of the top ten shark hunting countries which include America, Argentina, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan and Spain.

So, Malaysia looks likely to be the first Asian country to ban the shark trade once it protects them by law. 

Insight Sabah
Posted on 02-11-2011 03:21 pm

Green Sabah says: I'm proud to hear that Sabah may be the first to ban shark trade in Asia, sharks have been widely hunted for their fins and flesh throughout the world and they are slowly going towards extinction. If we don't do something about it now, soon Sharks will die out and this will upset the ecosystem balance. Hope that more countries will start banning shark hunting in Asia and maybe whale hunting too.


Mohd Ishak said...

Baguslah kalau begitu, bangga kerana Sabah adalah no. 1 di Asia untuk membuat begitu.

Mohd Ishak said...

Kita perlulah memulihara ikan jerung kerana mereka sudah hampir pupus.

Antanum said...

Good effort, well hoping to still see them in 10 years later....

antap said...

pemburunan ikan Yu dilakukan tanpa kawalan, dan ini menyebabkan spesies ini semakin pupus. tindakan mengharam pemburuan ikan yu amat wajar sekali.

antap said...

kebanyakkan mereka menangkap ikan yu untuk mendapatkan siripnya sahaja, selepas mereka memotong sirip, ikan tersebut akan dibuang semula ke laut, bukankah ia satu penindasan. sabah mmg amat prihatin akan nasib ikan yu.

Smookiekins said...

I am proud too. hope the implementation will success.

fazlin said...

ini langkah yang baik untuk melindugi spesis ikan yu..

fazlin said...

langkah ini dapat membantu memastikan keseimbangan ekosistem dan memastikan ikan yu terus banyak di perairan Sabah.

rebirth said...

jika sudah ada negara atau negeri pertama melaksanakan pengharaman pemburuan ikan Yu ini, pasti negara atau negeri lain juga akan menyusul..

rebirth said...

sekadar amaran tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah ini, oleh itu langkah pengharaman melalui penguatkuasaan undang2 merupakan satu langkah yang tepat dan bijak..

Irish said...

memang wajarlah pengharaman ni dibuat sebab ikan yu ni semakin pupus di perairan Sabah.

Caldina said...

Kenakan hukuman berat kepada mereka yang masih ingakr dengan arahan melarang pemburuan ikan jerung. Dan kita juga harus sokong larangan ini dengan tidak memakan apa2 yang asalnya daripada ikan jerung.

Caldina said...

Keseimbangan ekosistem laut harus dipelihara. Tindakan yang bagus daripada Kementerian Pelancongan Sabah yang mahu undang2 ini dikuatkuasakan.

Batresiah said...

Janganlah memburu ikan yu..Jika tidak pasti akan menyebabkan kepupusan berlaku.

Batresiah said...

Baguslah kalau Sabah ban pemburuan Shark..Harap ada undang-undang akan dikenakan kepada mereka yang melanggar undang-undang.

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