Cebu City – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-Region 7) discourages the public from touching or disturbing the sharks sighted at the coastal waters off Santander town in southern tip of Cebu.
Following reports of their presence, the Cebu Provincial Fishery Office (PFO) reached out to the Municipal Agriculture Office in Santander to verify about the matter.
Cebu PFO officer-in-charge Edgardo Delfin said the municipal fishery technician reported that these are actually juvenile blacktip sharks scrambling for food near the shores.
“People should not be afraid. The presence of these sharks does not pose danger especially to people swimming there. They do not bite not unless they are threatened or harmed,” he said, adding that the juvenile sharks also swim away once they sense people.
Delfin said this event is only a normal phenomenon because these young sharks commonly show up in the months of February and March. These young sharks feed themselves with small fishes.
To note, the sharks were found at the shallow waters near the marine sanctuary in Barangay Pasil, Santander. Any economic or fishing activities are prohibited at the marine sanctuary.
He said marine sanctuaries, as one of its main purposes, are to preserve and protect these species to boost fish population and to maintain the rich biodiversity.
Besides, blacktip sharks are usually found at the shallow, coastal waters, Delfin pointed out.
He said the presence of sharks might spark tourist attraction but he is appealing to the public to avoid disturbing them.
Catching or collecting sharks is also banned in Cebu with the enactment of an existing provincial ordinance that prohibits such act.
Delfin said the marine sanctuary is also guarded by the local government units in the municipality and barangay, through their Bantay Dagat group. (JB/PR)