We thought that we’ve heard the last of shark finning activities on our shores. Unfortunately, another picture has emerged proving that shark hunting/finning is still taking place in Sabah.
The Danau Girang Field Centre shared an image of their Facebook page late yesterday (Friday, 21st April 2017) of shark fins laid out openly near a jetty in Semporna, a district and town in Tawau Division, Sabah.
As at time of writing the picture has been shared over 1.5k times, garnering more 1.2k Facebook reactions and 100 comments. “Sickening and heart breaking knowing those poor sharks would have been thrown back in the water alive minus their fins etc!” read one comment. Another enraged Facebook user said, “Is there really nothing else to eat?!”
This is not the first time that evidence of shark killing has surfaced. Back in June 2016, Facebook user Chung Wui Tang shared images of sharks floating in bloodied waters after having their fins removed. It is without a doubt that the picture stirred up a fresh new batch of arguments and calls for stronger laws to ban shark hunting/finning activities in Sabah, Malaysia’s dive paradise.
Currently, only the Tun Sakaran marine park in Semporna, Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park fronting the state capital, and the proposed Tun Mustapha marine park in Kudat are off limits to shark fishing. The 3 marine parks total some 2 million hectares and is habitat to about 80% of the state’s shark population.
Speaking to The Star Online, anti-shark hunting and finning activist Aderick Chong, who heads the Sabah Shark Protection Association, expressed shock over the picture. He said that the fishermen claimed that the sharks sold at the markets were from their catch that was part of their livelihood and not hunted. “But why do they need to fin the fish and sell the body separately? This clearly shows that the shark fin trade is real and continues to exist in Sabah,” he said.
“Sharks will disappear from our seas. As it is, sharks are already so hard to find in our dive sites,” Aderick Chong added.
Malaysia’s Department of Fisheries (Jabatan Perikanan Malaysia) has yet to respond to the picture.