This is a guest blog post from Semporna Shark Sanctuary
A third of all shark species are nearly extinct and some species of sharks such as the Hammerhead have declined by up to 90% in the last 50 years. Semporna is home over 83 Islands, including the world famous dive destinations of SIPADAN and MABUL. The Semporna Sea is also home to many species of shark from the extremely rare and elusive Borneo and Hammerhead shark to the largest fish in the sea, the graceful whale shark. Sharks are an apex predator and have been around for over 400 million years and have maintained prey diversity and shaped the coral reef systems into what we see today, without them the marine biodiversity as we know it would collapse. Sharks are being systematically wiped out around the world and an extinction of many species is very likely in the coming years if current fishing trends and attitudes towards this beautiful and misunderstood creature change and change fast.
In Sabah and Semporna many species are encountered on a daily basis and we are one of the lucky places that can still say that we can 'prevent' their decline instead of having to 'reintroduce and rehabilitate'.
The Semporna Shark Sanctuary is a proposal that is run by a Sabah based NGO, and is supported by various governmental parties, the local community and the tourism industry. In the next 3 weeks this proposal will be presented to the state government. We have been informed that if we can give a petition with more than 10’000 names in favor of such a shark sanctuary it will go a long way to getting the sanctuary approved. It is VERY important that the Semporna Shark Sanctuary get the support of 10’000s of marine/shark enthusiasts from around the world as it will help show that dive tourism (in the shape of a shark sanctuary) can be a successful and sustainable way for the region to continually make money for the local community.
By signing the petition in support of a Semporna Shark Sanctuary you are not only signing for the future of these incredible creatures for future generations, but securing the health of one of the most bio-diverse marine eco systems in the world and the future economy for the thousands of people who make a daily living from eco tourism in the area.
Semporna is one of the last strongholds for sharks in SE Asia and we need your help to make sure it remains this way. Please take a minute to sign the petition and share it to your friends. Every signature will literary help save a shark!
I will be writing a short blog once a week to keep you updated on the progress of the Semporna Shark Sanctuary.
Thanks for all your support!