When I visited Cebu three weeks ago, I was supposed to swing by Malapascua Island for its fantastic view and diving site. I had a quick chat with a local from Marigondon, Cebu during my five days vacation in the said province. She told me that they are cautious in catching endangered sea creatures such as sharks. They knew it’s prohibited though they are relying on catching fish every day as source of income.
In Cebu, sharks are considered valuable because of its ecological and economic value. There are domestic policies in Cebu such as Cebu Provincial Board Ordinance No. 2014-15 which penalizing the catching, possession, and trading of all shark and ray species; and in Daanbatayan, Cebu, there’s a policy under an Executive Order 16-2015 which designated Monad Shoal and Gato Island as a shark and ray sanctuary, and they are prohibited in catching and trading of all shark and ray species.
Thus, our country is among the top 5 countries with high shark diversity. Most of it found in Donsol, Sorsogon; Manta Bowl in Ticao Pass; Cagayan de Oro which has the highest concentration of megamouth shark strandings; and Malapascua Island, Cebu.
In case you didn’t know, there are three kinds of sharks: big eye thresher, pelagic thresher and common thresher. We need sharks to regulate fish population by removing the sick fish. In 2005, 160 species were listed in the Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes.
The question: Why we are protecting these sharks? They are known as endangered fish. We never know if our children will see them in the future.
I think we need to reach out with the fishermen in the province not to catch sharks by conducting a forum about the importance of sharks in the sea.
Support this advocacy by signing up this petition to save the sharks. Act now by joining Thunderclap to pledge support about this advocacy. Participate in activities to save sea creatures in the province. We need to disseminate information about this on social media.
Also you may check this informative deck about how to protect sharks
Christian Melanie Lee is a freelance social media manager and web developer. She also devoted her time managing her food blog, and music/concert blog. One of the Hootsuite Ambassador for the Philippines since 2014 and currently working as social media manager for the local band, The Itchyworms.
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