First, our country voted AGAINST protecting shark species that are at risk of extinction. Now, we’re the second largest importer of shark fins!
According to Malaysiakini, Malaysia has been identified as a key player in events revolving around the global shark fin trade. The world wildlife trade monitoring network has already shown that Malaysia has overtaken China to become the second-largest importer of shark fins in the world!
The study, that was published last week, stated that Malaysia’s import of shark fins has increased by more than 2,800 metric tonnes in the past decade, dated over the period of 2003 to 2016.
Richard Thomas, the Traffic global communications coordinator has released a statement saying that:
“Malaysia imports of all shark fin types have increased from a low of 46 tonnes in 2003 to a high of 2,934 tonnes in 2016.”
The report also highlights the world’s four largest shark fin importers which include Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and Singapore. These countries have been responsible for 90 percent of the average annual global shark fin imports since 2000 till 2016.
Not only was Malaysia identified as a significant importer of shark fins, it was also recorded as a key centre for processing frozen fins and dried food products made from sharks.
In fact, following statistics recorded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of UN (FAO), much of the shark fin imports in 2013 were labelled with the description, “shark fins, prepared or preserved by Malaysia.”
Sadly, our country has also been ranked as the eighth largest shark catcher in the world following findings from 2007 to 2017.
A whooping total of 21,459 metric tonnes worth of shark catches which included species such as skates, rays and chimaeras were recorded in Malaysia’s average annual findings.
While the consumption of shark fins remain a controversial topic in many parts of the world, it is a popular element in Asian dishes – primarily in Chinese communities where shark fin soup is often served in prominent celebrations such as weddings.
Because harvesting shark fins and shark meat is still permitted in Malaysia, Thomas says we must implement regulations to protect certain shark species from overfishing of being harvested illegally.
“We identify the main catchers and traders as there is a responsibility which goes along with it to ensure that what you catch and trade have adequate monitoring and management measures in place to ensure sustainability and the legality of catches.”
Shark species are becoming increasingly endangered by the day. Not to mention how these animals are killed JUST for their fins. We need to spread awareness about the importance of saving our shark friends before they’re wiped out for good!
Share and spread the awareness. Let’s hope Malaysians are able to pressure the government to implement rules so the poor sharks are not slaughtered till it reaches extinction.
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