Monday, February 20, 2012

Senator Pushes For Shark Law in Philippines

Philippine Senator Loren Legarda has called yesterday for the passage of a law that will make shark hunting punishable by law.

She cited several news reports that feature reckless fishermen who are shark finning and acting without regard to how their practice is harming the environment and sea ecosystem.

Selling shark fins has always been a lucrative venture, currently being sold between P600 to P3,000 per kilo and is primarily used as a food delicacy. The practice is considered inhumane because the finless sharks are usually just thrown back to the sea and left to suffer.

"Clearly, the absence of a 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 in a statement.

The bill will push to make wounding or killing sharks and other species such as manta rays, unlawful, if done out of self-defense or unless it is acted upon as protection to human life or safety. Moreover, the bill will also prohibit the selling of dishes that use shark fin as an ingredient, to discourage the trade.