Malaysia plays a big role in global trade of sharks, says wildlife network Traffic

Rashvinjeet S. Bedi The Star 16 Aug 13;

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia plays a significant role in the global shark trade and was amongst the top ten importers and exporters of shark fin globally from 2000-2009.

It is also a major consumer of shark fin, as well as exporter of shark fins to international markets according to a study by wildlife trade networking network Traffic that was co-authored by Victoria Mundy-Taylor and Vicki Crook.

Traffic's study entitled into the deep: implementing CITES measures for commercially-valuable sharks and manta rays said "Malaysia imported 6,896 tonnes of sharks fins (dried, prepared and salted) from 2002-2009, the fourth highest importer globally."

"Malaysia also caught 231,212tonnes of sharks from 2002 to 2011," which is the eighth highest globally, accounting for 2.9% of the total global reported shark catch during that period.

The top shark catchers between 2002 and 2011 were Indonesia and India who are responsible for over 20% of global catches.

Sabah has banned shark hunting and “finning” under its wildlife conservation laws.

Traffic said that while the situation could have changed since the study period was concluded, data covering the 10 years was generally considered a good indication of trends.

It added that as a signatory to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Malaysia has an international obligation to implement measures intended to ensure the international trade in products of the shark species protected under the Convention is both legal and sustainable.

“This may be facilitated by the introduction of requirements to land sharks whole, that is with their fins attached to their bodies, enabling species caught to be accurately identified, a prerequisite for understanding the catches of various species and therefore for determining sustainable levels of harvest,” said Traffic.

It added that as a significant consumer of shark fin, Malaysia should focus efforts on curbing demand for and discouraging the serving of these products.

Currently, there is no ban on shark trading in Malaysia although Sabah has banned shark hunting and “finning” under its wildlife conservation laws.

Sabah wants to have the same legal provision for the state to be included in the federal Fisheries Act 1985. The draft amendment was submitted to the Federal Government last year.

Malaysia a key player in global shark trade, says study
Rashvinjeet S. Bedi and Victoria Brown The Star 17 Aug 13;

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia plays a significant role in the global shark trade and was amongst the top 10 importers and exporters from 2000-2009.

It is also a major consumer of shark’s fin, as well as exporter of the commodity to international markets according to a study by wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic that was co-authored by Victoria Mundy-Taylor and Vicki Crook.

According to Traffic’s study entitled “Into the deep: Implementing CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) measures for commercially-valuable sharks and manta rays”, Malaysia imported 6,896 tonnes of shark’s fin (dried, prepared and salted) during the period, the fourth highest importer globally.

It said Malaysia also caught 231,212 tonnes of sharks from 2002 to 2011, the eighth highest globally, accounting for 2.9% of the total global reported shark catch during that period.

The top shark catchers between 2002 and 2011 were Indonesia and India. They are responsible for over 20% of global catches.

Traffic said that while the situation could have changed since the study period was concluded, data covering the 10 years was generally considered a good indication of trends.

It added that as a signatory to the CITES, Malaysia has an obligation to implement measures to ensure the international trade in products of the shark species protected under the convention was both legal and sustainable.

It added that as a significant consumer of shark’s fin, Malaysia should discourage the serving of these products.

Currently, there is no ban on shark trading in Malaysia although Sabah is contemplating banning shark hunting and “finning” under its wildlife conservation laws.

Sabah wants to have the same legal provision to be included in the Fisheries Act 1985.

The draft amendment was submitted to the Federal Government last year.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Nature Society said that while the report was startling, it was not surprised by the finding.

Its head of communications, Andrew Sebastian, said they have pictorial evidence showing finned sharks that were still alive off Pulau Mabul in Sabah and pictures of sharks that were left to die in fishing nets off Pulau Redang in Terengganu.

“We have good laws, but what is lacking is the enforcement and implementation of plans and strategies to act against shark hunters,” he said.

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