Seven marine species to be added to Fisheries Dept protected list

MIRI: The Fisheries Department plans to add another seven marine species into the protected list under Fisheries (Control of Endangered Species of Fish) Regulations 1999.

According to Assistant Minister of Rural Economy (Coastal Areas) and Fisheries Datuk Julaihi Narawi, the inclusion process would be implemented in stages.

“The seven species identified

(as under protected species) are two species of manta rays – Manta birostris and Manta alfredi (under Mobulidae family); four hammerhead shark

species – Sphyra lewini, Sphyrna mokarran, Sphyrna zygaena and Eusphyra blochii (under Sphyrnidae family); and the Oceanic white-tip

shark – Carcharhinus longimanus

(under Carcharhinidae family),” he stated in his address in officiating at the state-level ‘Say No To Shark Fin’ campaign at Permaisuri Imperial City Mall yesterday.

Julaihi said of the seven, six species had been listed as endangered species under ‘Appendix II – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 2013’.

Additionally, he said four shark species were also listed under Appendix II–CITES, namely the Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), the whale shark and the hammerhead shark.

He also pointed out that shark landing in Malaysia, from 2008 to 2014, was on an average low – at 7,006 metric tonnes a year.

He said in 2014, a total of 7,388 metric tonnes of sharks had been landed, which only stood at 0.5 per cent of the total number of national marine fish landing amounting to 1,458,128 metric tonnes.

“Shark is not the main targeted species when it comes to fishing activities in the country. Usually, it gets caught together with others commercial species in trawl nets, drift nets and also by fishing rods.

“Actually, shark-finning (cutting the fins off a shark and discarding the carcass back into sea) does not occur in Malaysia.”

Julaihi said the department had been responsible in managing marine resources in the country.

“As the relevant agency, it will continue with its proactive

management to ensure that the shark species will not face any threat of extinction.”

On the ‘Say No To Shark Fin’ campaign, he said such effort aimed to educate and create awareness of the important of sustainable management, especially on the conservation of the shark species, among the stakeholders.

The function was also attended by Fisheries Department planning and development section chief Rohani Mohd Rose, its marine resource management head Mohamad Noor Nordin and deputy director for Sarawak, Bohari Leng, as well as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) publicity chief Datuk Yusuf Sani Wahab.