The once dreaded creature in the sea, the shark, which man fears to encounter specially during a sea mishap, human being now seems shifted his notion to this kind of animal as a mere predator – to its importance to our marine biodiversity.
On its third and final reading, the Provincial Board (PB) has passed the amended Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu of which to include the protection of all species of sharks. There was already a provision of the ordinance by Board Member Thadeo Ouano that bans fishing, or taking, possessing, transporting, dealing, selling of disposable or any shark species. But the said provision cannot applied to fishing, taking and possessing of shark species which is covered by a special permit that will be used for scientific or educational purposes.
It was modified as “It shall (now) be unlawful to fish or take, possess, transport, deal in, sell or in any manner dispose of rare, threatened or endangered species as a whole or in parts as determined by law, ordinance, legal issuance and by the Department of Agriculture.”
The principal offender will be fined in the amount of P5,000 while those who participated in committing the offense will have to pay P500 each. That to exclude administrative fine from P1,000 to 3,000 depending on the kinds of equipment utilized by the offending party.
On the other hand, a resolution sponsored by Board Member Miguel Antonio Magpale has been passed this week, Sept. 1, 2014 that urges all component cities and municipalities in the Province to pass an ordinance implementing a total ban on shark fishing, buying and selling in their jurisdictions. Also urging the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources protection of every barangay units of component cities and municipalities to institute a mechanism regulating, utilization and trade of endangered sharks and rays, and establish a well-documented enforcement procedures.
Another resolution also “urging the Department of Tourism and Department of Agriculture thru the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to create a joint administrative order regulating tourist spots or any form of business operations related to or with prime dependence on endangered shark and rays among local government units.”
More than two weeks ago, around 150 representatives from the civil society, government, tourism and business sectors, marine conservationists, divers and the academe met at the Capitol social hall to show their commitment to protect and save sharks. It urged for the government’s immediate protection of sharks and rays and calling for the amendment of the 2009 National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Protection of Sharks.