Honduran waters are inhabited by several shark species. (Photo: Shawn Jackson, Pew Environment Group)
Shark sanctuary created
Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
The president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, enacted a decree in Roatan, Bay Islands, prohibiting the capture of white sharks. With this measure, the country has become the first bio-oceanic sanctuary of sharks in Latin America.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of international organizations that promote environmental and marine species at risk of extinction protection; Jill Pepp, head of the Global Shark Conservation Programme of The Pew Environment Group; the Minister of the Presidency, María Antonieta Guillén; Minister of Tourism Nelly Jerez; Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Rigoberto Cuellar; the political governor of the Bay Islands, Shaw Hide; and the ambassador of Honduras to the United Nations, Lizzy Flores.
Lobo Sosa also toured the area of the reef to see the shark's habitat. There he was able to see how the species lives, to touch a specimen and experience the beauty and richness of the place, La Tribuna reported.
Honduran President thanked Flores for her work and welcomed the efforts she had made.
He also reaffirmed the support of the Government to work together in a coordinated manner in order to respect the law and ensure the survival of sharks.
Maximiliano Bello, director of Global Shark Conservation, said: "Sharks are like lions from the sea and if we lose them, we will also lose the balance of the oceans, therefore what we are seeking is to keep them in the oceans, where they have been for over 800 million years."
Honduran waters are inhabited by various species of shark: whale, reef, Atlantic catshark and hammerhead, which lay eggs in the Gulf of Fonseca, El Heraldo reported.
Increasingly, world leaders are realizing that sharks are more valuable when they are alive -- for activities like diving, snorkeling and shark watching -- than when they are dead," he concluded.
By Analia Murias