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Save Sharks Network Philippines
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by Save Sharks Network Philippines category: Environment
The Philippines is the only country that can boast to having an established pelagic thresher shark dive industry.
The presence of thresher sharks has turned Malapascua Island into a major dive tourist attraction, helping the local residents to recover after the devastation that tropical typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) brought to many parts of the country in 2013.
In the province of Cebu, sharks are considered valuable for both their ecological and economic value that the province issued a Resolution protecting all sharks and rays in all its municipalities and established the Philippines’ first shark and ray sanctuary in Daanbantayan.
Unfortunately, it is not enough as thresher sharks could still be fished, hunted, and traded legally elsewhere.
However, there is an opportunity coming up that could ensure protection of thresher sharks through the regulation of its international trade. This happens on 24 September to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa when all three species of thresher sharks are being proposed to be listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at their Conference of Parties (CoP) 17.
The Philippines is in a unique position to push for the protection of the thresher sharks as we are the only country that values these sharks for more than just their fins.
Not supporting the proposal means failing to safeguard Daanbantayan's tourism industry, now contributing to 80% of its economy, that visitors and locals are benefiting from.
The Philippine delegation and other governments attending the 17th CoP of CITES has the option to vote YES or NO to the listing of thresher sharks.
We need to let the delegates know that we want our thresher sharks to be protected under CITES, which will automatically protect them in Philippine waters.
If this proposal passes, all trade in thresher sharks would be required to be sustainable – a policy that would go a long way in ensuring their survival for generations to come.
YOU CAN HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Photo (c) Noel Guevara
Save Sharks Network Philippines
The Save Sharks Network Philippines is a coalition of prominent voices in the Philippines' scientific, NGO and tourism communities.
Save Sharks Network Philippines are
Balyena.org, Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Conservation International Philippines Foundation, Dolphins Love Freedom, Earth Island Institute – Philippines, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Malapascua Business Operators Association, Malapascua Marine Preservation Fund, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Oceana Philippines, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, PhilippineBeaches.org, Reef Check Philippines, The Reef-World Foundation, Responsible Tourism Philippines, Restore Outdoor Club, Save Philippine Seas, SharkLink & Divelink Cebu, Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Turtle Conservation Society of the Philippines, Inc., WWF-Philippines, and Zoox Ltd.