MIRI: Graphic messages and pictures showing the blatant killings of endangered marine life have managed to draw the attention of the public in Miri.
The Fisheries Department has kicked off a nationwide campaign to deter the consumption of shark fin, starting with an official launch in the city by Sarawak Assistant Minister for Rural Economy and Fisheries Datuk Julaihi Narawi.
The launch of the “Say No To Shark-fin Consumption Campaign” will soon be followed by a similar campaign in Pahang, Perak, Sabah and the rest of the country, said Fisheries Department director-general Datuk Ismail Abu Hassan.
The organiser held an exhibition showing real-life pictures of sharks and other protected marine creatures mercilessly killed.
The exhibition attracted a big crowd, both adults and children.
Ismail said there were already up to 15 species of endangered marine life in Malaysia, including, at least, two species of sharks.
“Sarawak is chosen to start off this national campaign to deter the consumption of shark fin.
“From here, we will go to Pahang, Perak, Sabah and other states.
“This is part of our effort to step up the preservation of sharks and other endangered marine life in our waters.
“We are serious and committed towards ensuring the preservation and conservation of our rich marine resources, and urge all parties to take part in this effort,” he said.
Julaihi said the conservation project was fully supported by the state government via the state Fisheries Department.
“This project by the Malaysian Fisheries Department and Sarawak Fisheries, is a show of their commitment towards ensuring the survival of our marine resources.
“More species are becoming endangered and 27 countries have already banned sharkfinning and consumption of sharkfin including China and Hong Kong.
“Through this campaign in our state and country, the Government will take the lead by banning shark fin soup from all official functions.
“We want to see the private sector do the same and stop allowing sharkfin soup be served during their gatherings.
“We will also appeal to restaurants, and retail shops to boycott sharkfin products.
“The conservatoon of sharks and other endangered marine resources is an internatipnal thing and we must do our part,” he said.
Julaihi said the state Fisheries would get over 16,000 fishermen in Sarawak to take part in the campaign.