Following four years of market survey and analysis of available trade and catch data in Sabah, Shark Stewards has released a comprehensive report on Shark and Ray Catch and Trade in Sabah, Malaysia in September 2018.

On behalf of the Sabah Shark Protection Association, a collaborative group of non-profits, businesses, and registered organizations in Malaysia and in Sabah, Shark Stewards has undertaken this report to (1) consolidate existing and unpublished data to better define the quantity and breadth of the catch of chondricthyan fish (sharks, skates and rays) in Malaysia and the trade of their meat and products, and (2) to make recommendations with the goal of increasing management, protection and conservation of these important fish, especially in Sabah waters.

Malaysia is a treasure trove of shark and ray diversity, with many endemic species valuable to the natural heritage and ecology, and with increasing value to the Malaysian economy that extends beyond fishing. As the population increases and more people rely on the oceans for food, managing marine food resource sustainably is increasingly urgent. In this report, we present market data on shark catch and shark fin in Malaysia, Sabah in particular. Additionally, we evaluate the current law on shark and ray catch as well as shark fin trade in Malaysia in general, and in Sabah specifically, and evaluate available market and catch data. We conclude with recommendations for increased management of catch and directed fishing of shark, skates, and rays, and the development of a comprehensive conservation strategy for elasmobranchs in Sabah. A very promising trend is the increasing government focus, NGO support and public attention to marine conservation. A hopeful trend towards marine protection and dive ecotourism can benefit sharks and rays while providing long-term economic benefits, as well as an enduring impact on ecosystem health.

We gratefully recognize the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, the Department of Fisheries Sabah, the University of Malaysia Sabah, LEAP Spiral, Forever Sabah, the Sabah Shark Protection Association (SSPA), WWF-Malaysia, Scuba Junkie, Scubazoo, TRACC, and Malaysia Conservation Society for providing information and support for this document. We recognize with great appreciation the Shark Conservation Fund for the resources to produce this report.

This report could not have been compiled without the support of Sabahans and residents, including Aderick Chong (Chairman of the SSPA), Cynthia Ong (LEAP Spiral and Forever Sabah), Harry Jonas (Forever Sabah and Future Law), and the volunteers and the passionate people who love sharks and the seas of Sabah. Contributors include Dr. Steve Oakley, Harry Jonas, Amber Platowski, Viktoria Kuehn, Nicole Young, Alice Zhao, Elle Cardenas (cover art), Scubazoo and SEAS. Any errors or omissions remain those of the author.

David McGuire SHARK STEWARDS

 

Attached Sabah Shark Report Final