More than 40 species of shark will now be protected in the waters of Bahamas. (Photo: Pew Environment Group)
Ban on shark commercial fishing
Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
The Bahamas government decided to protect sharks by prohibiting their commercial catch along the approximately 630,000 square kilometers of territorial waters.
In addition, the Bahamian Executive Power decided to ban the sale, import and export of shark products.
Apart from the Bahamas, Palau, the Maldives and Honduras also decided to ban commercial fishing for sharks.
"Today's announcement provides permanent protection for more than 40 species of sharks in the waters of the Bahamas. We praise the people and the Government from the Bahamas for being strong leaders in marine conservation," said Jill Hepp, shark conservation manager of the Pew Environment Group.
"The year 2011 is quickly becoming the year of the shark," said the environmentalist.
Meanwhile, Eric Carey, Executive Director of The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), recalled that the ban on longline fishing in the Bahamas, established 20 years ago, protects marine resources and ensures that shark populations remain healthy. But he noted that there were no specific laws for sharks in the Bahamas.
"The new regulations signed this morning by the minister [Lawrence] Cartwright ensure that sharks can continue to grow for generations in our waters, one of the world's best places to see sharks," said Carey.
Now, the 630,000 square kilometers of territorial waters of the Bahamas will become a shark sanctuary, following an amendment to the Law on Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation).
The new sanctuary is the result of a partnership between the Pew Environment Group and BNT.
Currently, commercial fishing kills about 73 million sharks per year in the world, which threatens the survival of several species.
Hepp also congratulated "the Right Honourable Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, and Lawrence S. Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, on taking action steps to save sharks, ocean super predators," said Pew Environment Group.
By Analia Murias