Shark attacked

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


THE 1975 Steven Spielberg thriller, "Jaws," starring a giant man-eating great white shark that attacked beachgoers on an island, brought fear among people of the great white shark and all other sharks.

I’m also afraid of sharks, but a joke says I’d be spared by sharks because I’m a lawyer, whatever that means.

But we now seldom hear reports of shark attacks on humans.

It turned out it's the sharks that are under attack by, who else, humans.

***

A report said at least three large seafood companies in Cebu have been using thresher shark meat in making fish balls and tempura.

Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force head Loy Anthony Madrigal said shark meat serves as alternative for a fish locally known as “barla.”

Environmentalists fear that these harks will be hunted to extinction.

The sharks' fate would simply be known as "the way of all fish."

***

Cebu's Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of 2012 prohibits the hunting of thresher sharks which are enlisted as a “vulnerable” marine species.

This ordinance may have holes big enough for shark hunters to pass through.

How will authorities deal with sharks caught in another province and later on made into fish balls and tempura in Cebu?

***

Authorities Wednesday night intercepted in the City of Naga in southern Cebu a truck loaded with almost 500 kilos of shark meat on the way to a seafood company in Lapu-Lapu City.

The seized shark meat, which reportedly came from Negros Oriental, was buried in a lot at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, while the driver and the truck boys were released.

Perhaps, when we want to protect sharks from extinction, we need laws with teeth as sharp as sharks' teeth.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2014.

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