MIRI: Sarawak has not taken any step to ban the sale and consumption of shark fin unlike in neighbouring Brunei.
This was disclosed by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) deputy general manager of Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation Division (PABC) Oswald Braken Tisen.
“Not all sharks are protected species and selling of shark’s fin and consuming it is still not against the law,” Oswald told members of the press yesterday.
As not all sharks are categorised as protected species, he said the state still allowed people to sell sharks fin and consume it in restaurants.
Meanwhile, Brunei is reported to be the first Asian country to ban shark products effective January next year. Brunei’s Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said the government is giving all retailers of shark fin and shark cartilage products a grace period of six months to clear their stock before the ban is enforced.
“We understand businesses would still need to clear their current stock so we will be using this grace period to educate the public on the decision to ban shark products,” he said.
The minister also said that effective January 2014, the ban will be legislated into Brunei’s law and routine checks on establishments would be conducted to ensure the ban is adhered to. The ban was announced at the launch of ‘Celebrate the Sea Festival 2013’ to mark World Oceans Day, and has made Brunei the first country in Asia to ban the product, according to non-governmental organisation, WildAid.
Meanwhile, Sabah is following in Brunei’s footstep to ban the sale of sharks fin.