Legarda Pushes For Philippine Ban On Shark Finning
February 19, 2012
Philippine Senator Loren Legarda has called for a new law that prohibits the catching of sharks in Philippine waters.
AsianScientist (Feb. 19, 2012) – Philippine Senator Loren Legarda has called for a new law to prohibit the catching of sharks, stressing that the absence of such a law could lead to the extinction of various shark species.
Legarda noted a recent news report showing fishermen engaged in the act of shark finning without apprehension, as there currently exists no Philippine law prohibiting such an act.
The practice of shark finning involves the removal of the fin, which can be sold at a price between P600 and P3,000 (US$14-70) per kilo, said a statement from Legarda’s office.
“Clearly, the absence of the law forbidding the catching of sharks, gives people the courage to continue the practice, which could eventually lead to the extinction of shark species in the country, especially that they reproduce slowly,” Legarda said.
Legarda explained that this concern could be addressed with the enactment into law of Senate Bill 2616: An Act Banning the Catching, Sale, Purchase, Possession, Transportation, Importation and Exportation of All Sharks and Rays or Any Part Thereof in the Country.
The bill proposes to declare as unlawful the wounding or killing of sharks and rays, unless there is threat to human life or safety.
Likewise, shark fin soup and the selling of shark fin would be prohibited in the Philippines, similar to the Californian AB376 bill banning the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins in the U.S. state.
“Sharks, as predators of the sea, play a vital role in regulating the ecological balance, particularly the health of important commercial fish species, population balance, and protection of coral reefs,” Legarda said.
“Being a country with about two-thirds of the known marine species of the Pacific living in its coastal waters, the Philippines plays a crucial role in protecting marine species,” she stressed.
Source: Senator Loren Legarda.
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