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The protection of sharks and other pelagic species in the waters surrounding the Semporna area. The mission of the Semporna Shark Sanctuary is to protect one of the most diverse marine eco systems on the planet and protect the over exploitation of sharks, mantas, eagle rays, devil rays, marlin, sail fish and sea turtles. In doing this its objective is not only to protect and preserve these animals and the diversity of the coral reef systems in Semporna, but in doing so, protect and compensate fishing communities, secure the jobs that are currently held by many Sabahans in eco tourism which would be lost with the decline of these species and create many more in the maintenance, up keep and protection of South East Asias first Shark Sanctuary. Description Sabah is one of the worlds best places to dive and snorkel with sharks. It boasts species from the extremely rare and elusive Borneo Shark to the largest fish in the sea, the graceful Whale Shark. A third of all shark species are nearly extinct and species such as the Hammerhead, of which Sabah is one of the last population strongholds, have declined by up to 90% in the last 50 years. Sharks have been around for over 400 million years and can not keep up with the current rate that they are being taken out of our oceans on a daily basis. They are also an apex predator which have governed reef systems and maintained prey diversity for millions of years and without them the entire marine eco system is thrown out of order and will eventually collapse. Semporna also boasts healthy populations of Manta, Devil and eagle rays, Marlin, Sail fish and Sea Turtles, all of which along with shark populations are subject to over fishing, caught as by-catch and exploitation which in turn has spelled a decline in their numbers not just in Semporna but worldwide. Sabah and Semporna are in a unique place where we still regularly see all these species in numbers and are at a time where we can still 'prevent' their eradication from these waters instead of the place where we have to 'reintroduce and rehabilitate'. This is where the Semporna Shark Sanctuary can help not only to secure their future but the future of the thousands of people that have jobs and make a living from the increasingly thriving Eco Tourism industry in Semporna, of which diving and snorkeling are the backbone.

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