Gareth Jones, a foreign diver who had ventured into the waters off Mabul Island, part of Sabah’s Semporna district, was surprised to find severed and hacked hammerhead sharks strewn about the seabed.
Jones shared a short underwater video clip to is social media followers, showing the carnage:
Having visited the waters of Borneo several times before, he writes that he was shocked to find the distressing scene just a few miles from the much-lauded dive site, Sipadan. The area is famed for the sharks that inhabit the waters, and received a multitude of visitors each year seeking to see the animals up close.
Tempering his statement to clarify that he is not a shark expert, Jones’ upload clearly shows hacked pieces of shark strewn about the seabed.
“Why should tourists travel to see the world-famous Sipadan sharks if they are being hunted to extinction,” he posited.
Asking concerned followers to share the clip, he later tagged several relevant bodies, including the Semporna Shark Sanctuary, Shark Savers Malaysia, the Sabah Tourism Board, and Tourism Malaysia.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said she would find out what happened and why the sharks were killed.
Sabah Shark Protection Association chairman Aderick Chong has called for the state government to quickly decide whether the sharks should be listed as a protected species.
“We need a clear guideline and law on shark protection,” he said, adding that divers from all over the world come to Sabah to dive with sharks.
Some seafaring Sabah communities hunt shark as a food source, pickling the meat.
This article, Diver in waters off Sabah finds scores of ‘slaughtered’ hammerhead sharks, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!