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Friends of shark, friends of people

Fearn Anne Acibo | Bachelor of Mass Communication IV | Environmental Sentiments

There’s more to the sea than the endless stretch of blue water. This vast, global ocean pulses around our world, driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet. And beneath the waves, the ocean is pulsing with life. In fact, the ocean is made up with 80% of all the life on earth. We will tell the world the story of our region’s rich seas– and we will sound the alarm and call for urgent action to ensure the health of these oceans for generations to come and that includes the importance of sharks.

Shark populations around the world are in serious trouble. About 100 million sharks are killed each year and nearly 30 percent of all known shark species are threatened. Most of us don’t care about this at all, especially those who have tasted the common meal served in restaurants which is the shark’s fin soup. Tell me, does it taste really good?

We see sharks as dangerous species which can devour a human being less than an hour in the movies that we see on TV, so much that everything we have in mind when we talk about sharks are negative. But that’s not just it.

Sharks and rays have been threatened with extinction, that is why coastal and island governments help turn the tide by creating sanctuaries to protect all species within their water. These sanctuaries prohibit all commercial fishing for sharks and retention of sharks caught as bycatch within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). We are affected in such ways that it provides valuable ecosystem, environmental and economic benefits. Our seas are beleaguered by pollution, destruction and overfishing. Corals are dying, mangroves and seagrass are being destroyed and every year there are fewer and fewer fish.

These are real changes that we see in the environment we live in right now. Know that we all have a say to whatever happens to it. As for the conservation of our marine biodiversity, we need to take part in calling for the protection of sharks and other marine species at a national level through the creation of interconnected ocean sanctuaries. Southeast Asia’s oceans are among the richest centers of marine biodiversity in the world, Philippines is part of that. Let us continue to advocate for the hope of our oceans and its resources. You have the power, we all have the power to make a change.

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