PB’s call: File cases against fishers who killed thresher sharks
THE Cebu Provincial Board is asking the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Visayas (BFAR-7) to file appropriate cases against the 13 fishermen who killed 19 thresher sharks in the Tañon Strait, which is a protected seascape.
During yesterday’s session, the PB passed a resolution sponsored by PB Member Sun Shimura, who cited reports of seeing no thresher sharks in the Monad Shoal on Malapascua Island for five days after last Sept. 21’s killing of the thresher sharks by fishermen in a fishing boat in Barangay Hagnaya, San Remegio town in northern Cebu.
“The killing of the thresher sharks was detestable and a serious transgression of (the law). The fishing boat operator and its 12 crew shall be held responsible under pertinent laws for such horrendous killing of the number of thresher sharks,” Shimura said.
The province has a provincial ordinance for sharks, which is under the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu.
Gary Cases, marine biologist and Malapascua resort owner, said that it was his first time to witness no sign of thresher sharks in Malapascua.
“Kadtong past five days after (the killing of 19 thresher sharks), wala gyud nakita. But karon dunay tagsa o tagduha but not the same as before nga makakita mi og tulo o upat kabuok (There were no sightings of thresher sharks for five days after the killing of the 19 thresher sharks. Now, we have seen one or two, but it was not the same as before where we can see three or four of them),” he said.
Malapascua Island of Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu is famous in local and international diving circles because of the presence of thresher sharks which frequent the Monad Shoal daily.
Cases said that the killing of the thresher sharks would be bad for Cebu’s economy, being tourism as one its economic drivers.
“Ang atong tourism diri is very dependent on the presence of the thresher sharks. Now if the news will go out that there is no more thresher sharks, nobody will come, (they will ask) why we will go there?” Cases said.
“What those guys did to our tourism industry here, is tantamount to economic sabotage,” he added.
He said biologist groups had yet to come up with a study on how to bring the sharks back in Malapascua.
He said that the sharks killed had set back the sharks population on Malapascua Island by at least two generations.
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