Malaysia Borneo state wants ban on shark fishing

Aug 29, 2011
A Malaysian state on Borneo island, known for its world-class dive sites, is seeking to ban shark fishing to protect the species, which draws thousands of tourists each year, a minister has said.

A Malaysian state on Borneo island, known for its world-class dive sites, is seeking to ban shark fishing to protect the species, which draws thousands of tourists each year, a minister said Monday.

Masidi Manjun, state tourism, culture and environment minister, said Sabah hopes the law can be changed by the end of the year to impose a blanket on killing , which are mainly hunted for their fins to make soup.

"We want to make sure that the ban is a blanket ban of all types of sharks in Sabah," he told AFP.

"Tourists come to see the rich variety of marine life that we have in Sabah, and that includes sharks. It makes economic sense for us to protect our sharks," he added. "The moment they are gone, people will go elsewhere."

Masidi said 42,000 divers, two-thirds of them foreigners, visited the state last year, bringing in more than 190 million ringgit ($64 million) in revenue.

He said the state is currently consulting with Malaysia's attorney general to change a federal law to introduce the ban for Sabah.

He added that over the past 25 years, some 80 percent of the state's sharks had disappeared and they could now only be spotted at four sites.

Masidi could not say how much the trade in shark's fin was worth. But a bowl of the soup, which is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, especially among Chinese diners, can easily cost more than 100 ringgit (around $35), he said.

In 2007, Malaysia's Natural Resources and Environment Ministry struck shark's fin soup off menus at official functions to help conserve the species.

Traffic, an international network that monitors the trade in wildlife, said early this year that Malaysia was the world's 10th biggest catcher of sharks.

Worldwide up to 73 million sharks are killed every year, primarily for their , it said.

Explore further: Acoustic methods to com­pli­ment cur­rent whale mon­i­toring efforts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

As sharks dwindle, new laws enacted

May 28, 2007

Shark fisheries in Mexico and throughout the world are dealing with proposed rules to curb shark hunting in the interest of preserving these predators.

Bahamas bans shark fishing

Jul 05, 2011

The Bahamas on Tuesday announced a ban on shark fishing, becoming the latest country to protect the ancient sea predator which is considered at risk due to demand for its fins in Chinese cuisine.

Sharks get protection in Marshall Islands

Mar 04, 2011

The US territory of the Marshall Islands has placed a moratorium on the trade and export of shark fins, a report said Friday, the latest in a trend across the Pacific Ocean.

Sharks threatened by Asian consumers, says group

Mar 16, 2010

(AP) -- Surging demand for shark fin soup among Asia's booming middle classes is driving many species of these big fish to the brink of extinction, a marine conservation group said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Breakthrough in coccidiosis research

14 hours ago

Biological researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are a step closer to finding a new cost-effective vaccine for the intestinal disease, coccidiosis, which can have devastating effects on poultry ...

Vietnam's taste for cat leaves pets in peril

19 hours ago

The enduring popularity of "little tiger" as a snack to accompany a beer in Vietnam means that cat owners live in constant fear of animal snatchers, despite an official ban.

New species of mayfly discovered in India

20 hours ago

Scientists have discovered a new species of mayfly in the southern Western Ghats, a mountain range along the west coast of India. In fact, this is the first time that any mayfly belonging to the genus Labiobaetis has be ...

User comments : 0