Saving Thresher Sharks campaign October 12, 2016, an update from Save Sharks Network Philippines:

Thresher sharks are now protected globally after being voted into Appendix II of CITES last 3 October 2016 which regulates international trade. Under Philippine fishery laws, they will be automatically protected in the country when the listing takes effect by October 2017. In addition, all Thresher sharks are now protected globally after being voted into Appendix II of CITES last 3 October 2016 which regulates international trade. Under Philippine fishery laws, they will be automatically protected in the country when the listing takes effect by October 2017. In addition, all mobula rays and the silky shark have also been listed in Appendix II.

We are proud to report that the Philippine delegation, led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Atty. Adobo was the first among nations to champion the listing of thresher sharks into CITES.

Reference: Sharks and rays get international and PH protection thru CITES vote

In the aquatic world, a symbiotic relationship exists such as a clownfish (remember the movie Nemo) and sea anemone, where one could not survive without the other. I suppose the same can be said of the island of Malapascua and thresher sharks. Believe it or not, saving thresher sharks is a part of the solution to crime.

Typhoon Yolanda (International Codename: Typhoon Haiyan)

The strongest typhoon ever recorded to make landfall was Typhoon Yolanda. As a result, the devastation was catastrophic. One of the places ravaged was the small island of Malapascua, located on the northern tip of Cebu.

Most of the people living on Malapascua Island derive their livelihood from tourism. While the island has a beautiful white sand beach, it is more known for scuba diving. Besides earning from beach lovers and scuba diving, other ways people earn include souvenirs.

Thresher Sharks

Malapascua has several world-class dive sites. But one, in particular, is unlike any others. An underwater plateau called Monad Shoal looks unremarkable. But it is the only place in the world where thresher sharks are seen on a regular basis.

Saving Thresher Sharks

As scary as sharks are to the uninitiated, thresher sharks are fragile animals. In other countries, fishermen hunt thresher sharks for their fins.

Here in the Philippines, we have laws protecting thresher sharks. In return, the islanders of Malapascua earn from tourism.

I see that as a symbiotic relationship between the sharks and the people who live on that island.

Duterte’s Crackdown on Drugs and Crime

Since Duterte’s assumption of the presidency, the war on drugs rages. Local and international critics have questioned the president’s methods. Some argue that the crackdown is a short-term solution to a long-time problem of poverty.

Imagine the island of Malapascua without the thresher sharks. After the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda, how were they to survive?

But because of the thresher sharks, tourists and especially divers visiting sustained the locals.

My point is that saving the thresher sharks is saving Malapascua. For as long as the islanders have a source of income, those are people who stay away from crime.

You and I Can Make a Difference

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will hold the Conference of Parties (CoP) 17 on Sept. 24 to Oct. 5, 2016.

The Philippines is pushing for a petition to have thresher sharks listed on Appendix II. This is to protect the thresher sharks from unsustainable fishing methods. Furthermore, there will be monitoring on the sale of fins.

Saving the thresher sharks can ensure the survival of the species. So that for the people of Malapascua, they’ll have the means of livelihood from tourism.

You and I can make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you live in the Philippines or someplace else. All you need to do is to visit the following links and taking action. It would not take too much of your time. And you can make a difference in the lives of people who depend on thresher sharks for livelihood.

Link 1: Thunderclap – Filipinos’ Treasured Threshers

Link 2: Change – Philippines Vote Yes for Threshers

Thank you, David Ferro and his friends Janette Toral and Anna Oposo for bringing this to my attention.

Friends, please leave a comment once you have visited the two links provided and share your thoughts.