Mabul Island is a beautiful tourist attraction in Sabah known for its diving spots. Here, divers can see flamboyant cuttlefish, various species of octopus, and numerous fishes such the spikefin goby. Yet, recently a diver in Mabul Island was horrified by what he saw on the seabed.
Hammerhead Sharks in Pieces
Gareth Jones, a foreign tourist, was at Mabul Island for a diving trip. He was horrified to find hammerhead sharks in pieces on the seabed. With his waterproof camera, he managed to record the terrible sight.
On his Facebook page he writes “I am shocked with what I saw at the end of my scuba diving trip in Sabah. I have dived many times in Borneo and did not think I would ever see such distressing images of discarded dead sharks just a few miles from Sipadan. Why should tourists travel to see the world famous Sipadan sharks if they are being hunted to extinction?”
This is indeed very sad news to hear. Especially at a time where more and more animals are being reported as endangered. When will humans ever learn we need to respect these animals? He is urging the public to share his video so as to seek protection for the sharks and prevent anymore slaughtering. He later tagged several relevant bodies, including the Semporna Shark Sanctuary, Shark Savers Malaysia, the Sabah Tourism Board, and Tourism Malaysia.
In the video, it can be seen that there are several pieces of shark heads and parts of their upper body. There has been a proposal to include hammerhead sharks in the list of protected marine species in Sabah.
What are we doing about it?
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew has given a statement regarding this incident. She has said that she would find out what happened and why the sharks were killed.
Sabah Shark Protection Association Chairman Aderick Chong has also provided some input. He said the state government needed to quickly decide whether to list hammerhead sharks as protected. Clear guidelines and laws on shark protection are needed as divers from across the glove make a trip to Sabah to dive with the sharks. There should also be a general protection for all shark species so as to avoid loopholes.
Possible reasons for this terrible situation include hunting for food. Besides the fins, shark meat of some species are used in pickled food.
You can watch the video here.