The Pew Environment Group reports that Chile’s president has signed a law that bans shark finning – the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins at sea and dumping the animal, often still alive, back into the sea to die – in Chilean waters.
The new law will help conserve some of the 53 shark species found in Chilean waters, an area that stretches more than 4000 miles from the country’s northern border with Peru to the Southern Ocean.
Chile’s new law comes as the latest of several shark finning bans this year:
The United States, the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands and the Marshall Islands have passed shark finning bans in the past seven months. And just within the last month, the Bahamas and Honduras created shark sanctuaries, where shark fishing is prohibited. Those countries joined Palau and the Maldives, which have passed laws based on their realization that live sharks for tourism can generate more money than dead ones.