Legarda Bats for Law Against Catching of Sharks

July 3, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today called for the swift passage of the proposed measure that would prohibit the catching of sharks in Philippine waters, stressing that the absence of such law could lead to the extinction of shark species.

“Sharks, as predators of the sea, play a vital role in regulating the ecological balance, particularly the health of important commercial fish species, population balance, and protection of coral reefs. As such, our country plays a crucial role in protecting marine species,” said Legarda.

The Senator noted that last month, police authorities in Cebu seized a truck loaded with shark meat headed for a fish ball processor in Lapu-Lapu City. News reports indicated that the truck contained at least 467 kilograms of thresher shark meat.

Legarda said that 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.

“Sharks are in danger of becoming extinct if we do not proactively protect them, considering that they reproduce slowly. The decline of their population could also endanger the entire marine ecosystem,” she added.

Legarda has filed Senate Bill No. 536, which declares as illegal the catching, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, importation and exportation of all shark and ray species in the country.