Endangered fish list gets longer

SANDAKAN: The Sabah Fisheries Department added six new types of fish this year to the endangered species list under the Fisheries Act 1985. The department’s assistant director (Marine Resource Management) Lawrence Kissol said the latest addition comprises four species of sharks and two rays.

“Currently, there are 36 species of endangered marine life under the Fisheries Act.

Kissol (second left) explains on the endangered fish species during a socialisation programme at the Sandakan wet market. Photo: Bernama

“For this reason, the Sabah Fisheries Department is making its rounds in 17 districts, especially the coastal areas, to raise awareness about marine species that should not be caught or sold,” he told reporters when met at the Endangered Species Socialisation Programme here yesterday which included the display of posters featuring pictures and information on endangered marine species, at the Sandakan wet market.

Kissol explained that the four new species of endangered sharks are the smooth hammerhead (sphyma zygaena); great hammerhead (sphyma mokarran); winghead shark (eusphyra blochii) and oceanic whitetip shark (carcharhinus longimanus).

The other two new species are horned rays known as the great oceanic manta ray (mobula birostris) and the reef manta ray (mobula alfredi).

Kissol also advised maritime communities across the state, and fishermen in particular, to release endangered marine species back to the sea if they were caught in fishing nets. – Bernama