| James Kon |
PEHIN Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, yesterday called on the public to refrain from consuming shark products to help stop the illegal catch and sale of sharks in the country.
“There is a limit to what we can do in terms of enforcement (of the law). The conservation of sharks is for (the benefit of) the future generation,” he said.
Sharks, he said, play an important role in the food chain by helping maintain a balance in the marine ecosystem.
“The marine ecosystem will lose its balance if sharks are eradicated,” he told the local media on the sidelines of the handover of jerseys to the team, which will represent the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) at the 2015 Brunei Regatta.
He said that there are no proven health benefits in eating sharks, but it could actually harm the consumers as shark meat contains high levels of mercury, lead and ammonia.
The ministry is reminding fishermen who accidentally catch sharks that are still alive to release them back into the sea.
In China and Hong Kong, the demand for shark products has dropped tremendously after restaurants stopped selling shark fins, he said.
The minister said that in Brunei, the fishermen may have caught the sharks unintentionally with other fish.
He vowed to keep educating the public to build awareness on the important role sharks play in the marine ecosystem.