Sabah swims forward with shark and ray conservation.

Sabah swims forward with shark and ray conservation.

A new hope for four shark species and two ray species to be protected under federal fishery regulations as the Sabah state government submits a proposal to protect them on

The great hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, winghead shark and oceanic whitetip shark along with the oceanic manta and reef manta will soon join the list of several other species such as dolphins, whale sharks, sawfish, dugongs and clams that are protected under the Fisheries (Control of Endangered Species of Fish) Regulations 1999.

Currently, two of these shark species are listed as endangered and one as vulnerable along with the manta species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.

And based on information from the Fisheries Department, that there are 48 shark and 65 ray species in Sabah compared with 70 shark and 85 ray species in Peninsula Malaysia, it is evident that our waters are valuable habitats for these creatures that are decreasing in numbers worldwide. We have a responsibility to keep them safe, and it gives us hope that the state government is showing more concern on marine conservation.