Shark Summit kicks off in Cebu
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/FPL (The Freeman) - August 15, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - As the first Shark Summit in the country kicked off yesterday, some government officials vowed to propose and support policies for the conservation of sharks, which number of species are on the verge of extinction.

Representative Joseller “Yeng” Guiao of the first district of Pampanga promised to file a bill protecting sharks in the country. He said the bill which is still being crafted would need support and inputs from the experts.

“There are some technical aspects of that bill… For the congressmen, we will deliberate the bill but most of the technical inputs and the knowledge and wisdom of that bill is going to come from the people who are directly involved,” he said during The National Round Table Discussion and workshop on the Conservation and Management of Sharks yesterday.

The bill would also ban the serving of shark fin soup in restaurants, Guiao added. He said there is also a need for consistency in following up so the bill would be pushed.

“It needs to be put in the consciousness and attention of the congressmen. Kasi ang daming problema sa Congress. There are other priorities in the congress that congressmen are worrying about and put their attention to, so kailangan talaga merong tagakulit na wag makalimutan yong bill natin. So I volunteered to do that role,” he added.

Guiao is also known as coach of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Daanbantayan Vice Mayor Gilbert Arrabis Jr., whose town is known for its Thresher shark tourism,  said the town committed to pass an ordinance protecting the sharks in the area.

“Mitambong mi karon kuyog nako ang barangay officials sa Malapascua to get inputs and come up og maayo nga ordinance for the protection of sharks. Bisan naa nay ordinance ang province, but we will do our share,” he said.

Representatives from local government agencies, civil society, divers, and tourism and business sectors converged yesterday to discuss measures in its pursuit towards protecting and managing sharks in the Philippines.

“The object of this is to bring everybody who has been working around shark… and to commit to push forward sa conservation of sharks,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia ocean campaigner Vince Cinches.

There are over 160 species of sharks in the country but only whale sharks are being protected under the law, Cinches added.

“So kinahanglan nga naa tay blanket policy nga di na ta magkara-kara moadto og probinsya, region to protect shark species,” he said.

The summit also seeks to collate concerns, statuses and updates on sharks conservation in the country as part of the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.

It was reported yesterday that most sharks, as well as rays, have slow growth, late maturity and low fecundity and that they cannot readily bounce back from population declines due to fishing mortalities. (FREEMAN)

 

BILL CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SHARKS DAANBANTAYAN VICE MAYOR GILBERT ARRABIS JR. GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA GUIAO NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION NATIONAL ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION REPRESENTATIVE JOSELLER SHARKS
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