Photos of what appears to be a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), found washed up on Kenangan beach in Bongawan, Sabah.

Sources: Pantai Kenangan Bongawan Facebook and Pantai Kenangan Bongawan ( W. Pait Liur) Facebook

Photos: Pantai Kenangan Bongawan Facebook

Malaysia: Hammerhead Shark carcass gains instant fame in Sabah, and online
By Avila Geraldine, 14th January 2017;

A Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna sp.) carcass washed up on Kenangan beach in Bongawan, about 70km from Kota Kinabalu, and caused a sensation among locals and netizens.

Photos of the shark went viral on Facebook, shortly after villagers made the discovery at about 6.30am today.

As news of the discovery spread, curious villagers flocked to the site to take photos of the unique-looking marine predator.

The Hammerhead Shark has been listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of globally-endangered species.

Awang Harun Karim, 50, from Kampung Silat, was the first to spot the Shark as he was preparing to open his grocery store for business. His shop is just about 50 metres away from the beach.

“I thought it was a log, but I took a closer look and discovered that it was actually a Hammerhead Shark. I immediately called my son and we rushed to the beach, but it was already dead when we found it,” he said.

The Shark was estimated to be 1.8-metres long and weigh about 60 kilogrammes.

“This was the first time I had seen a Hammerhead Shark on the beach. Two years ago, a Dolphin was stranded here and was rescued by the relevant authority,” Awang added.

Source: New Straits Times

Based on the shape of the head and the size of the dorsal fin in proportion to the rest of the body, this is likely a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran). It’s not mentioned whether the shark carcass was found with a rope already tied behind the head. Could it have been caught by a person previously, and then discarded?

Photo: Rose Anne

A Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) was accidentally caught by a net in Calatagan, Batangas last 9 October.

Source: Jessie Fronda Delos Reyes Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Malaysia: Mabul sharks likely not from our waters
20th July 2016;

ictures on the killing of several Sharks that went viral on Tuesday were taken about a week ago, according to Semporna District Officer Dr Chacho Bulah.

He said it was usual for fishermen to rip the flesh of the fish to make “siagol”, a local delicacy using Shark meat as base, mixed with pepper and tumeric.

“However Sharks are not the main target for fishing activities in the area. They are a bycatch along with commercial species,” he said. Dr Chacho denied there had been any Shark finning activities in the area, pointing out the marine life were landed in Mabul with body still intact, only to be gutted and chopped up on the island.

Dr Chacho also confirmed that Mabul is a fish landing area.

According to seasoned divers in the area Mabul barely had any Shark population over the last 50 years.

Scubajeff divemaster Nazmi Razali said Mabul is not a main habitat for Sharks so one would be lucky to spot the species when diving.

“We in Mabul are aware that the Sharks were not captured in Malaysian waters.” But many of those who have visited the area confirmed the presence of a “slaughter house” for Sharks on the island for years.

Pat Lingam who posted photos of the Sharks on Facebook said many of these fishes were caught by the local fishermen and brought to the village to be gutted and chopped up.

“Mabul is just a base where they cut up the Sharks and sell them. The fish are caught from waters in neighbouring countries like Indonesia and sold to visitors, mostly visiting China nationals in Sabah,” said Pat revealing that the photos were taken Monday afternoon.

Fisheries Department Director Dr Ahemad Sade also verified the photos were indeed taken on Mabul but denied allegations there had been any Shark finning activities on the island.

Instead, he said all the Sharks are caught and brought back one piece before being chopped up at Mabul island which is the base for fish landing. Dr Ahemad said the fish are then put into baskets before being sent to Semporna.

“The Sharks brought to the island are cleaned and soaked for a while before the cutting process begins.

"Fishermen on the island use sea water instead of fresh water to clean the fish due to the lack of fresh water.

"The cutting can only be done during high tide,” he said.

“There had been no cases of protected fish being landed on Mabul.” There are 67 licensed fishermen on the island and they use hooks and long-lines to fish. Sharks are not the main catch but instead a bycatch along with other commercial fish caught unintentionally, he said.

Dr Ahemad also said from February 25 2014, the department had prohibited Shark fishing and finning on local fishing vessels and their bodies being thrown into the sea as additional requirements for licences.

Source: Daily Express

Horrific: Shark carcasses floating in the bloodied sea at a village in Pulau Mabul.

Malaysia: Sabah govt’s hands tied over slaughter of Sharks as cruel practice is not banned
By Ruben Sario & Stephanie Lee, 20th July 2016;

Horrific photographs of Sharks being hunted and finned in Sabah’s dive paradise will continue to crop up on social media unless there are laws banning the practice.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said without such laws the slaughter would continue.

He said this when asked about the photographs of nearly a dozen finned Sharks posted on Facebook and WhatsApp, said to have been taken at a village in the diving haven of Pulau Mabul near Semporna on July 16.

The pictures showed carcasses of Sharks floating in the bloodied sea.

Asked if state authorities were aware of the killing, Masidi said: “What difference does it make when there is no law against it?”

Pressed further if anything could be done to curb such activities, which were viewed in horror by environmentalists and tourists, he said: “What do you suggest in the absence of laws against it?”

Yesterday was not the first time such photographs at Mabul, which is next to the world-class diving spot Pulau Sipadan, have been highlighted.

The Sabah government has been unsuccessful in getting the Federal Government to amend the Fisheries Act to include a ban against Shark hunting – at least in waters off the state.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had said that the Sabah government’s request for a ban was unnecessary.

The state subsequently said it would designate marine parks in Sabah as Shark sanctuaries where hunting was banned.

However, the Sabah Shark Protection Association said such a law was just as important as the setting up of these sanctuaries.

Its chairman Aderick Chong said without such laws, Shark would continue to be hunted in Malaysian waters, making the country the world’s ninth largest producer of shark products.

Conservation group Traffic had reported that over 231 tonnes of Shark were caught in Malaysia between 2002 and 2011, accounting for 2.9% of the total global catch.

He said fishery statistics also showed a decreasing number of Shark being caught each year since 2003, which might indicate a decline in the population.

Source:

Laws prohibiting Shark-hunting and finning are crucial towards the protection of endangered sharks in Sabah, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Malaysia: Laws against Shark-hunting and finning necessary, says Masidi
By Olivia Miwil, 19th July 2016;

Laws prohibiting Shark-hunting and finning are crucial towards the protection of endangered Sharks in Sabah, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Masidi was responding on the circulation of pictures of Shark-killing at Mabul island, shared in Facebook.

In January, it was reported that a group of tourists and divers had witnessed Sharks being finned at the island.

Sabah had last year asked the Federal government to amend the Fisheries Act, specifically on Shark protection in Sabah.

The request however was rejected as it was deemed unnecessary.

“With the absence of any law prohibiting Shark-finning, what difference does it make?” Masidi replied in WhatsApp message.

He added that an announcement would be made on the setting up of Shark sanctuaries at marine parks soon.

In February, during the ‘My Fin My Life’ campaign here, Masidi said the Shark sanctuaries would be set up at more than two million hectares of marine parks including the newly-gazetted Tun Mustapha Park in Kudat, Tunku Abdul Rahman park in Kota Kinabalu, and the Tun Sakaran marine park in Semporna.

Shark species are vital to the diving industry as nature enthusiasts generate revenue of about RM380 million every year.

Source: New Straits Times

One of the viral photographs showing shark finning taking place at Mabul Island.

Malaysia: Masidi: Shark hunting will not stop without law against practice
19th July 2016;

It is not possible to stop the killing of Sharks for their fins as there is no law prohibiting hunting of the marine creature here, says Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said because of this, photographs of Sharks supposedly being hunted and finned in Sabah’s east coast would continue to surface.

He said this after photographs of nearly a dozen finned Sharks were spread on Facebook and WhatsApp, supposedly taken on July 16 at a village on Mabul Island, near Semporna.

Asked if state authorities were aware of killing of Sharks at the island, Masidi said; “What difference does it make when there is no law against it – the Fisheries Act?”

This was not the first time photographs of Shark finning at Mabul Island have surfaced.

The Sabah government has been unsuccessful in getting the Federal Government to amend the Fisheries Act to include a ban on Shark hunting – even in state waters.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had said that the Sabah government’s request for a ban on Shark hunting and finning in Sabah was unnecessary.

The state subsequently said it would designate marine parks around the state as Shark sanctuaries, where hunting of such marine creatures was banned.

The Sabah Shark Protection Association here said a law banning Shark hunting was just as important as having sanctuaries.

Its chairman Aderick Chong said without such laws, Shark hunting would continue. Malaysia is currently the world’s ninth largest Shark producer.

Conservation organisation Traffic reported that more than 231 tonnes of Shark were caught in Malaysia between from 2002 to 2011, accounting for 2.9% of the total globally-reported Shark catch.

He said fisheries statistics also showed a decreasing amount of Sharks being caught each year since 2003, indicating a decline in its population.

Source: The Star