Although the killing of sharks and manta rays in Sabah’s diving heaven of Mabul Island is legal, it’s never a pretty sight to see. Recently, a foreign tourist posted a 2-minute video on Facebook regarding a horrific view that included several chopped up hammerhead sharks in Sabah’s seabed.
Gareth Jones decided to film his scuba diving experience hoping to capture the beauty of Sabah waters but instead was mortified by the unexpected sight.
“I have dived in Borneo many times and did not think I would ever see such distressing images of discarded dead sharks just a few miles from Sipadan,” he said on his Facebook page.
“Why should tourists travel to see the world famous Sipadan sharks if they are being hunted to extinction?” he asked.
Jones said he was not a shark expert but the images clearly looked like slaughtered hammerheads in the reefs off Mabul Island. Several butchered shark heads and parts of their upper bodies were seen in the video he posted.
He then urged the public to share his video to bring awareness, seek protection for the sharks and put an end to the killings.
Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said she would investigate what happened and why the sharks were killed.
During last year’s Sabah Shark and Ray Forum, the Sabah Shark Protection group said they were frustrated with the slow pace in the implementation of various measures to save the sharks from disappearing from state waters. The association’s president, Aderick Chong explained that a total ban on shark hunting was crucial to protect Sabah’s fast-diminishing shark population.
Chong, who has been spearheading the campaign with other NGOs for nearly eight years, said that many shark species are rarely seen nowadays in reefs around Sabah, which is a reflection of their diminishing numbers.
Studies by Universiti Malaysia Sabah, however, indicated that the number of sharks caught by fishermen have decreased. As of now, only whale sharks and sawfish are listed as protected in Malaysia.
Take a look at the video down below:
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