While it is fun to swim with the sharks in the Philippines , it will be more fun to save the sharks too!

Swim with the Sharks #PHsaysYES

Swim with the Sharks #PHsaysYES
Photo credits Bernadette

Have you actually tried swimming with the sharks? Avail of that tourism campaign. Hey those are for real! Though I haven’t tried (with my size, sharks might mistake me to be of their own kind 😥 )

Doubled with coral reefs and biodiversified marine flora and fauna, the Philippines is the only place in the world where you can dive with thresher sharks! Both local and foreign tourists enjoy this natural view and savor the experience as the Philippine waters in the following locations play host to thresher sharks:

  • Monad Shoal, Malapascua, Cebu
  • Apo Reef, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Burias Pass
  • Tubbataha Reef
  • Moalboal, Cebu
  • Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental
Pet Fish. More Fun in the Philippines.

Pet Fish. More Fun in the Philippines.
Credits to the Owner

Diving and tourism industry benefited from these. Check out the many years of including “swimming with the sharks” as part of our tourism promotions.  As a travel trade enthusiast and blogger, and as a person who believes on how tourism contributes to the economy of the country, let us acknowledge how these sharks have helped us and our communities in those areas. At the same time, let us help in pursuing projects where availment of this nature-laden gift be sustainable. Let us help preserve the habitat, protect the thresher sharks and make their existence sustainable.

Sadly though, local fishermen and fish traders has also enjoyed the economic value of shark meat for a long time.

Save Thresher Sharks #PHsaysYES

Save Thresher Sharks #PHsaysYES

Note that thresher sharks go to these places as their cleaning ground as well as pupping ground. The temperature, habitat, marine or maybe biogeography are favorable for them to do their cleaning and these areas also serve as their pupping grounds. The tourists and fishermen were just coincidental in their life tasks, they came to those places to fulfill a purpose.

In simpler words, these thresher sharks stay in these places in the Philippines to give birth to their young ones, where they choose to multiply. Note that this kind of specie do not easily multiply, they have low reproductive potential and are slow-growing. Yet we are fishing them and trading them legally because there are no laws that prohibit fishing and trading them.

They should not be fished, they should not be turned to sushi, the only thing we should do with them is make them our selfie companions.

While tourism value helps our communities around those areas, they need to be protected.

How?

By including thresher shark in the list of species where trade should be controlled to avoid becoming threatened. There are many local ordinances that protect the thresher sharks but trading of this shark’s meat in the internatoinal scene is still legal. Hence international law should be enacted in order to regulate the trade.

This can be achieved if on 24 September to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa, all three species of thresher sharks be listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at their Conference of Parties (CoP) 17. We should make our Philippine Delegation vote YES as we want our thresher sharks to be protected under CITES which will inevitably protect them in Philippine waters.

How can we help?

We can help make this happen by doing the following:

  1. Signing our petition! Click here  VOTE YES FOR THRESHERS.
  2. Pledging your support to our Thunderclap campaign!
  3. Visiting Malapascua Island to see the thresher shark and support the community.
  4. Sharing our thresher shark posts on social media while using #SaveThresherTala #StoptheThresherHunt #PHsayYes

 

Let us push for the protection of the thresher sharks as we are the only country that values these sharks more than just for their fins.