The Sabah government will impose heavy penalties on shark hunters from this year, said state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun. Masidi said shark hunters would face a mandatory jail sentence for up to three years and a fine of at least RM30,000 or both under the Fisheries Act.

“This is to save the endangered animal species from depletion. There are various types of sharks out there which require more protection,” he said at the closing of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloquium 2012, here, Tuesday.

Masidi was previously reported to have said that shark hunting was expected to be illegal in Sabah by early this year.

He said the ministry also decided to implement one of the recommendations of the State Action Plan for conservation of Bornean elephants which officially upgraded the status of the Bornean elephant as protected species in Sabah.

“The Species Action Plan is implemented particularly for the conservation and rehabilitation of Sabah’s three iconic species — the orang utan, the Borneo pygmy elephant and the Sumatran rhinoceros.

“The Sabah government and especially my ministry will do everything in our power to help implement the three Species Action Plans and to promote the establishment of wildlife corridors to enable our flagship species to meet and breed,” Masidi said.

Source: Bernama