Sabah is set to declare three of its marine parks as shark sanctuaries by mid-2016 in a bid to protect the endangered marine creatures, state Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said.
The area is home to about 80 percent of Sabah’s shark population, he said, according to Star Online.
The three parks are Tun Sakaran marine park in Semporna; Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park here; and the proposed Tun Mustapha marine park in Kudat.
The minister said the state had no choice but to use state laws to protect Sabah’s shark population when a request to the Federal government to amend the Fisheries Act to protect marine creature was rejected.
No political correctness
“We only asked for shark hunting to be banned in Sabah, not in other states,” said Masidi, adding he was not afraid of being “politically incorrect” in the name of protecting the state’s natural heritage.
He said the move to ban shark fishing at the marine parks would hopefully increase the shark population. Masidi said his ministry’s officers were finalising documents to be tabled during the state Cabinet meeting for the three marine parks to be gazetted as shark sanctuaries.