With the numbers of sharks and rays quickly dwindling in the recent years mostly to the demand by China, the bill filed by Senator Miguel Zubiri could not have come at a better time. Senate Bill 1245, or the “Sharks and Rays Conservation Act,” if passed, imposes penalties of up to 12 years imprisonment, a fine of up to P1 million, or both, on violators including those who “inflict injury on sharks and rays.
The high demand in China and Hong Kong for their fins for shark fin soup is placing stress on the shark population; while the increasing demand for rays’ gills believed to have medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine is also placing tension on ray numbers.
The “Sharks and Rays Conservation Act” will criminalize “the catching, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, and exportation of all sharks and rays or any part thereof” in the country.
Do you think this bill will be enough to protect the sharks and rays in the PH?