- Marine conservation advocate filmed vendor killing bamboo catshark in Pasay City fish market
- He said he hopes video will convince lawmakers to pass law protecting sharks and rays in PH
- He also said sharks and rays more beneficial to economy if kept alive
MANILA, Philippines – An official of a marine conservation group has caught on camera the killing of a bamboo catshark (scientific name: Chiloscyllium punctatum) in a live fish market in Pasay City.
“After a day of discussing maritime security with military heads, we decided to inspect a live fish market in downtown Manila. This is what we saw,” Gregg Yan, Director of Communications at Oceana Philippines, said in the caption of the video which he posted in his Facebook account.
In the 25-second-video, a fish vendor can be seen killing the shark for a customer who bought it by forcefully slamming its head on the floor.
According to Yan, he was able to film the whole incident by chance.
“I already knew the area sold live catsharks as I’ve written about questionable seafood trade practices and the aquarium fish industry several times before. What was different was that a Chinese customer bought a shark mere seconds before we entered–so I was able to film a crewman smashing the shark against the floor,” he told Rappler.
“I hope that the video convinces our lawmakers to consider banning the killing of all shark and ray species nationwide,” he added.
According to Yan, a high number of sharks worldwide—including in the Philippines—are killed every year.
“An estimated 73 to 100 million sharks are killed every year. Nobody knows the actual number, because few fishing boats will admit to having caught and killed sharks,” he said.
Yan also said that leaving sharks and rays alive is more beneficial to the people and economy at large.
“Charismatic animals–particularly sharks or large rays like mantas–will always attract tourists, whether local or foreign. They will be worth more alive than dead,” he said.
Video shared by Gregg Yan: (Warning: Viewer Discretion is advised)