Shark Populations off of Malaysia Down Close to 100 Percent

Posted on May 16, 2011. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

Daily Express online news source.

Scientists in Malaysia estimate that the 98 percent decrease in shark populations off of the coast of the island of Borneo is likely the result of prolonged, government-permitted shark fishing.

“Unfortunately, due to the increase in demand, the shark populations cannot support the fishery any longer,” said Prof Steve Oakley, Technical Advisor of The Green Connection (Aquarium and Science Discovery Centre). “Most shark species have a relatively small range. Hammerhead sharks around Sipadan are being caught when they move away to feed at night.”

These statements came over the weekend after opposition to the “Say No To Shark Fin Soup” voiced opinions of their own. For Oakley, the issue is as much about enforcing shark finning bans as it is the dangerous levels of bioaccumulated mercury in some shark meat. He looks to examples of the Bahamas –a country whose 20-year-long ban on shark finning has helped maintain healthy populations– and the recent efforts of legislation in California and Oregon as the wave of the future in fishing regulation.

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