Great news for sharks and rays, particularly Thresher Sharks and the community of Malapascua. People on Malapascua (Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines) depend on income from dive tourism. Divers come to the small island mainly to dive and see the Thresher Shark. The Thresher Shark, amongst other sharks and rays, come to a nearby seamount to get cleaned.
Cleaner fish, living in the coral reef on the seamount, eat the parasites from many shark and rays that visit these cleaning stations. This cleaning is vital for the health of many sharks and rays.
With it’s decision to protect Thresher Sharks globally, CITES has not only saved these remarkable deep water sharks but also the main source of income for the people on Malapascua.
Hopefully this also has positive effect on the conservation of the coral reef on the seamount.
Coral reefs provide shelter and are home to cleaner fish. Destruction of coral reef means the loss of habitat for cleaner fish. This will lead to less cleaning activities on the reef, which impairs the health of sharks and rays. The result will be a drop in number of the visiting sharks and rays which has a negative effect in the balance of the ecosystem.
This in turn will affect the local communities depending on them.