Whenever I see news about endangered species being captured, I get angry because I can’t understand why other people have the heart to see these species suffer. One of those endangered species are the Thresher Sharks. The Philippines is among the top 5 countries in the world with high shark diversity. And only in Monad Shoal near Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan in the Philippines where you can dive with the thresher sharks. The presence of thresher sharks has turned Malapascua Island into a major dive tourist attraction, helping the local residents to recover after the devastation that tropical typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) brought to many parts of the country in 2013.
It’s good to know that the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world to have domestic protections for sharks. Cebu has issued a Resolution protecting all sharks and rays in all its municipalities and established the Philippines’ first shark and ray sanctuary in Daanbantayan. Aside from Cebu, thresher sharks are also afforded local protection in Batangas City, Panglao lsland, and Palawan.
Unfortunately, these protection programs are not enough since shark meats are still traded and consumed locally and in other countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan. You might be eating shark meat without you knowing it. One way of protecting thresher sharks is not to patronize and consume products containing them.
Here are some food and products that use shark:
- Sharks fin dumpling and sharks fin soup
- Supplements with squalene or shark liver oil
- Cosmetics or make-up products with squalene
- Crabstick or surimi – They are not real crabs, they are made of shark meat, OMG!
Knowing is half the battle, now that you know what to watch out for in the labels, you can lessen the demand of shark meat.
Vote YES for Threshers
On September 24 to October 25, 2016, all three species of thresher sharks are being proposed to be listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at their Conference of Parties (CoP) 17.
The Philippine delegation to the 17th CoP of CITES has the option to vote YES or NO to the listing of thresher sharks. We need to let them know that, as a country, we want our thresher sharks to be protected under CITES which will inevitably protect them in Philippine waters.
If this proposal passes, all trade in thresher sharks would be required to be sustainable – a policy that would go a long way in ensuring their survival for generations to come.
So please sign the petition and vote YES: https://www.change.org/p/philippines-vote-yes-for-threshers
You can make a difference by not buying and consuming shark meat, help other people to be aware, and by signing the petition.