Shark, ray sanctuary in Daanbantayan set up
Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro signed an executive order last June 2 creating the shark and ray sanctuary in Monad Shoal and Gato Island off Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan.
The shark and ray sanctuary is the first of its kind in the country and is intended to strengthen the protection of the species that are crucial to the town’s tourism.
“It has been estimated that shark tourism accounts for approximately eighty percent (80%) of the municipal economy, providing employment and supporting livelihoods of communities in Daanbantayan and its neighboring municipalities,” the executive order reads.
A ceremonial signing for the official launch of the sanctuary was made, Friday morning at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Corro, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources office head Czareem Estella, Green Peace Oceans campaigner Vince Cinches and Andres Muego, staffer of Provincial Board Member Thadeo Ouano attended the event.
“Daanbantayan is a key Marine Biodiversity Area known for its abundant coastal and marine resources with at least four species of sharks and six species of rays. The Monad Shoal provides a habitat that supports cleaning services essential to the life strategies of local marine fauna and mega fauna.
Gato Island is a hotspot of biodiversity due to the unique oceanographic conditions that are generated by the convergence of the Visayas Sea, Tañon Strait, Camotes Sea, and Biliran Strai,” the order reads.
Happening now! Ceremonial Signing of the first Shark and Ray Sanctuary in the country.Executive Order no. 16-2015….
It is only in Malapascua where divers can see thresher sharks all-year-round.
Lugon (Malapascua) barangay chairman Rex Novabos said in a previous interview that their village earns an average income of P300,000 a year from diving fees.
The declaration of the shark and ray sanctuary is supported by the tourism industry including the dive shops and resorts in the island said Gary Cases, a marine biologist based in the Malapascua.
Last year, the Provincial Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Ordinance was amended to protect all sharks and ray species in Cebu banning the hunting and selling of these species.
An inter-agency, multi-sectoral mechanism will be established for the species’ protection.
The declaration ensures that the Shark and Ray sanctuary will be allocated funds and human resources to implement protection. A management board will also be established./ with Correspondent Melissa Cabahug
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