PB adds teeth to measure, protects all shark species

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Monday, September 1, 2014


CATCHING, transporting, disposing of and selling sharks are now prohibited in Cebu Province.

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved yesterday an amendment to Ordinance 2012-05, also known as the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu, declaring all shark species as protected.

Aside from the ordinance, the provincial board also adopted three resolutions related to the protection of sharks.

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The amending ordinance, proposed by PB Member Thadeo Ouano, declares that it is unlawful to catch, possess, transport, deal or sell rare, threatened or endangered shark species.

The measure mentioned that protected species include those in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, such as the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Squat-headed Hammerhead Shark and Smooth Hammerhead Shark.

The Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force recently intercepted cargoes containing shark meat and shark fin. The latest confiscation was on Aug. 23, involving five tons of shark fin. But the cargo was later ordered released by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources because the fins did not come from an endangered shark species and was not covered by a PB ordinance.

Section 6 of the amended ordinance says any act involving any shark species is now prohibited.

The ordinance, however, exempts persons who are able to present proof that the shark or shark parts in his or her possession are part of a scientific or educational activity.

In a related development, the PB adopted a resolution filed PB Member Miguel Antonio Magpale urging BFAR to regulate tourist spots and business establishments in local government units in the province that involve endangered sharks and rays.

The PB also adopted another resolution urging the committee on environment and natural resources of all local government units to regulate the use and trade of endangered sharks and rays.

Magpale also asked local government units in Cebu Province to ban any form of fishing, catching, buying and selling of sharks in their areas.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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