List shark and manta ray as protected species, Fisheries Dept urged

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018

Left unprotected: A manta ray pictured among other catch on a fishing boat that was seen at a water village in Pulau Mabul, Semporna.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah wants answers from the federal Fisheries Department on their promise to include six shark species and the manta ray in the protected species list.

Amid the latest slaughter of the rare oceanic manta ray at the tourist resort island of Mabul in Semporna, state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said they were still waiting for an update on the ban.

“I have also asked the same question and am still waiting for answers,” said Masidi.

The federal Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry had said that they would include the hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, winghead shark and oceanic wingtip shark and the oceanic manta ray as totally protected by the end of last year.

Masidi said the federal ministry should give an update on the matter, echoing a similar call by the Sabah Sharks Protection Association president Adderick Chong.

Pictures of unknown individuals cutting up a 2m-long manta ray at a village in Pulau Mabul had shocked both Chinese and western tourists.

A total of two oceanic manta rays, 13 devil rays and one shark were slaughtered, according to witnesses.

Sabah authorities find their hands tied as there is no law against those hunting and finning sharks.

Sabah Parks director Jamili Nais said Pulau Mabul did not come under the Tun Sakaran Marine Park jurisdiction.

In another unrelated probe, Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Augustine Tuuga said they were investigating mutilated green turtles found floating near Pulau Mabul over the weekend.

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