Ocean News

Vast Shark Sanctuary Created in the Pacific

6th October 2011

A few days ago, the government of the Marshall Islands passed fishing regulations that have created the world’s largest shark sanctuary. The sanctuary covers nearly 2 million square kilometers of the Pacific ocean, extending the global area where sharks are protected to roughly 4.6 million square kilometers. The move follows a similar sanctuaries created recently in Honduras, the Maldives, the Bahamas, Tokelau and Palau, where SOSF project leader Tova Harel-Bornowski played a major role in the creation of the world’s first shark sanctuary.

Key provisions of the new bill include complete prohibition of commercial shark fishing and the sale or possession of shark products, enforced by fines of up to US $200,000 for anyone found in violation of these prohibitions.

The BBC reports that "the Marshallese government has worked on the plan with advisors from the Pew Environment Group, the US-based organisation that identified archipelago nations as providing big marine conservation "wins" because of the vast scale of their territorial waters." Pew have an interactive map online with the regions around the world that have implemented shark protection measures in their waters.