KOTA KINABALU - Six of the marine parks under Sabah Parks will be gazetted as shark sanctuaries in an effort to protect the species.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun made the announcement in the wake of the recent slaughter of sharks off Sabah's Mabul island.
The incident which went viral on social media caused an uproar among netizens.
He said the move to gazette might be able to help protect the population of sharks around Sabah as the state government was not able to legally ban shark hunting and finning.
However, he said the initial approach would be more educational than imperative.
"We want to start the creation of shark sanctuaries by educating the people so that they feel that they have ownership of the programme," Masidi said.
He explained that education was more important because in the end, the success or failure of a programme depended on how much the people felt that it belonged to them.
He added that he wanted the locals and fishermen to be with the government in making the initiative a success.
"We want them to understand that they can continue to hunt according to their traditions and way of life but to leave enough for conservation," explained Masidi.