KOTA KINABALU: The federal government lauds Sabah’s move to ban shark hunting for its fins.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Chua Tee Yong praised the effort of the state government in protecting the ecosystem here by initiating a proper legislation to eventually ban the consumption of shark fins.
“The action taken shows just how committed the state government is in its environmental protection and conservation efforts,” he said after opening the fifth International Symposium for the Development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for sustainable agriculture in Asia and Africa here yesterday.
Although it was still a personal choice for consumers whether or not to consume shark fins, Chua disagreed with the way the fins were removed and hopes more people would not consume shark fins.
Chua also said while the state government of Sabah has acted on the matter, the ban on hunting sharks for its fins may not be feasible in the peninsula for now.
“The ministry cannot make a decision whether or not to ban shark hunting because we have to discuss with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
“And, we also have to present papers to the Cabinet before any decision is made,” he said.
Earlier it has been reported that Sabah was likely to be the first state to ban shark hunting for their fins in a bid to protect the marine creature.
The state government is in the midst now studying the legal aspects of the proposed ban which would require amendments to the State Wildlife Protection Ordinance.
Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun had been quoted as saying the situation is becoming critical for this marine creature as only 20% of its original population is still left in the country.
“From my last briefing, there are only four areas in Sabah where sharks can be spotted. And, if we don’t do something about it, the population may disappear from our waters completely,” he said.
Masidi also said he was told by experts that the sharks no longer existed in Peninsular Malaysia waters.
He said the state attorney-general is now studying the matter.
The state government, Masidi added, had also taken shark fin soup off the menu of its official functions.
Source: New Sabah Times