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Leave sharks alone, BFAR Bicol official appeals

LEGAZPI CITY—Photos of a tiger shark caught off Sicmil, Gigmoto, Catanduanes on June 15 which are circulating on social media saddened Nonie Enolva, Chief of the Marine Fisheries Resource Management of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol.

Tiger shark caught off Sicmil, Gigmoto, Catanduanes
Photos via Enolva's Facebok account
The shark, according to a report forwarded to BICOL STANDARD, weighed around 200 kilos. Its meat was sold at P50 per kilo.

The tiger shark is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Near Threatened.

"I wish I could tell the fisherfolk to leave the sharks alone as it maintains nature's ecological balance," Enolva wrote.

"Most sharks are not dangerous and leave people alone. People are more likely to be killed in car accidents, diseases and any other means," she added.

Enolva thus called for the protection of all shark species in the Philippines.

Shark meat is widely available in markets across the region. It is the main ingredient in the traditional Bicolano dish kinunot, which is sometimes made, but less frequently so, with manta ray.

On July 8, 2013, Senator Loren B. Legard filed Senate Bill No. 536 An act banning the catching, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, importation, and exportation of all sharks and rays or any part thereof in the country"

Under the bill, "it shall be unlawful to wound or kill sharks and rays, unless there is threat to human life or limb, whether in the course of catching other species of fish. Sharks and rays, which are accidentally included in the catch shall be immediately released unharmed in the sea."

As of September 22, 2014, the bill has the legislative status of "consolidated/substituted in the committee report."—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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