Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our Role To Ensure The Balance Of Our Marine Ecosystem

Our country is surrounded of water and no wonder why we are rich when it comes to marine life. There are many new discoveries about new fishes, sharks and rays but the government did not notice the potential of these species to be found.

Because there are big groups of sharks that can be found in the Philippine waters and most of them can be categorized to be threatened because of lack of knowledge of the people. They sometimes catch those to be killed, finned and legally sold elsewhere.  

Upon continue doing this over and over again, it will result to be into a sad reality that our Marine Biodiversity is ended its life. Once the food chain was cut, the rest of the world who has life will be in danger too.

One of them the species that I'm talking about is the Thresher Shark?

Perhaps, you are wondering, what is Thresher Shark? And if you are going to ask me if it is some kind of a shoe brand, a shampoo or  a new gaming app that you can download.  I am telling you that it's not.

Although I am not a Marine Biologist or an expert when it comes to Marine Biodiversity,  I will share with you some things I've learned about Marine life. 

I have some brain food here in store for you to understand what I am talking about.

In the Philippines, we have three kinds of Thresher Sharks, the Big-eye Thresher,  who has a big eyes that almost covers its whole head, the not so common - Common Thresher and the Pelagic Thresher who is the most prominent to our marine bio-diversity, also known as Alopias Pelagicus.

Photo taken by Noel Guevara in Monad Shoal, Malapascua.
As a matter of fact, the Philippines is the only country with an established Pelagic Thresher shark SCUBA diving industry (see how amazing we have right now). Divers can see and observe the pelagic thresher sharks on a daily basis at Monad Shoal, Malapascua Island in Northern Cebu. They always visit the area to get cleaned of parasites and sometimes to be the ground for pupping. The best time to experience and witness the Pelagic Thresher Shark is around 5:00-5:30 AM as per Sir AA who nurture us more about this shark during the briefing last night.

Malapascua Island, turned to be a major dive tourist attraction and the countries first shark and ray sanctuary. It provides employment, livelihood opportunities for locals and also helps them to recover after the devastation of the typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Photo taken by Noel Guevara in Monad Shoal, Malapascua.
The provinces of Batangas City, Palawan, Bohol and Cebu are the few provinces who protects them. Unfortunately, they can still be killed, finned, and traded legally. Their meat is usually consumed locally to produce fish balls while their fins are sold internationally, mainly through Hong Kong and Taiwan which they use in shark fin soup.

Sad to say, it was happening right now.  Dried shark fins can fetch up to PHP 8, 000 per kilo, depending on their size and type while the meat are can be sold for PHP 40 per kilo. Sadly, the sharks grow slowly, mature late, and produce few young over longer lifetimes and more than half of the population of shark and ray species are threatened or near on its extinction due to over fishing.

The good news is that, there is an opportunity coming up to ensure the protection of these sharks through the regulation of its international trade that will be happening on September 24 to October 25 this year.

As the Philippines’ CITES Management Authority for aquatic  and marine species, the BFAR has the option to say YES or NO to the listing of thresher sharks. We need to let them know that we want our thresher sharks to be protected under CITES will inevitably protect them in Philippine waters if the CITES Proposal was pass.

We need the thresher shark to be included in the list of protected marine species. The proposal needs to pass to ensure their survival for generations to come.  So friends, join me in this advocacy in pushing for the protection of thresher sharks.  Let’s shout out to have a vote for YES.

You can help make this happen by doing the following:

1.       Signing our petition, PHILIPPINES VOTE YES FOR THRESHERS.

2.       Writing to BFAR Director Gongona, 3/F PCA Bldg., Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City) to convince them to vote YES!

3.       Visiting Malapascua Island to see the thresher shark and support the community.

4.       Sharing our thresher shark posts on your social media while using #SaveThresherTala #StoptheThresherHunt #PHsayYes

I remember my Biology class during High School. My teacher says that all living things have life and everyone of us is interconnected to each other. I believe that everything in this world should have balance because that how's life worked.

It's like a yin and yang, right and left, and up and down sort of thing where you able to have the harmonious effect of what we have around us.  So, let’s keep it balanced!

I don’t usually ask a favor to anyone, but I guarantee you that supporting me and the Marine Wildife Watch of the Philippines campaign with this advocacy is truly a worth fighting for. For us to be able to continue the opportunity to see pelagic thresher shark up close in Monad Shoal, to remain as the preeminent destination that helps our tourism and to support the Daanbantayan’s diving industry. Hoping that you also have a big heart when it comes to caring and protecting our environment. 

Support Save Sharks Network Philippines petition by filling up the form and signing up for the thunderclap until September 21, 2016.
Next is make your own custom message and clicking the add my support.


Then, once it was submitted you will get the confirmation of your support. 



You can now spread the word by inviting your friends to join the Thunderclap sharing it to Facebook, Twitter or re-blogging it on Tumblr. Don't forget to use the hashtags #SaveThresherTala #StoptheThresherHunt #PHsayYes.

Check out the amazing video below to be more inspire and why sharks needs not to disappear in this world.

Let’s act as one now!

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