MANILA, Philippines – Stricter ordinances on shark and ray protection.
These are what marine wildlife advocates and netizens are seeking after a thresher shark was spotted lifeless on a merchant’s countertop in Dao Public Market, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Photos of the dead shark were posted on Facebook by Holger Horn, president of the Panglao Association of Dive Operators (PADO). Concerned tourism stakeholders of Panglao requested him to circulate the photos, Horn said.
“Basically all sharks are on the endangered species list and this thresher shark is no different,” said Horn in his Facebook post.
Thresher sharks are most common in Malapascua, Cebu City, where tourists may have close diving encounters with the endangered creatures.
“Sharks, especially whale sharks are following migration patterns and their ‘homes’ are all oceans and seas around and beyond the Philippines,” Horn also said.
Ban selling of sharks
In one of the photos, a merchant is seen slicing off the creature’s fin. The fin’s meat is the main ingredient for delicacies such as shark’s fin dumplings and soup.
In his post, Horn said that he is hoping for the local government of Tagbilaran City to follow the footsteps of Cebu province, which has an ordinance banning the catching and selling of all shark ray species.
Two dive sites in Daanbantayan town were also declared as shark sanctuaries of the province.
Republic Act 10654, the Philippines’ new fisheries code, prohibits unregulated and unreported fishing in the country. Offenders may be fined P5,000 to P 500,000 for violating the provisions of the said code. (READ: Talks begin on how to implement ‘revolutionary’ fisheries law) – Rappler.com
Janelle Paris, a student from the Ateneo de Manila University, is a Rappler intern