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SHARK FISHING BANNED IN BAHAMAS

Wednesday July 6th, 2011
SHARK FISHING BANNED IN BAHAMAS

Environmentalists have welcomed a decision by the Bahamas to ban all shark fishing. This will effectively turn the entire 243,000 square miles of the archipelago’s territorial waters into a shark sanctuary. The government have also prohibited the sale, import and export of shark products and raised the fines for shark-fishing from $3000 to $5000.

As the recent ‘Fish Fight’ campaign has made clear, sharks are considered greatly at risk, with around 73 million killed every year, mainly for the sale of their fins to Chinese restaurants. The Bahamas had previously banned long-line fishing which protected 40 species of shark. The blanket ban was brought about by the announcement by a local seafood company that it intended to start exporting shark meat and fins to Hong Kong. This led to activists to call for a more stringent law to be introduced.

President of the Bahamas National Trust, Neil McKinney, said, “Sharks played an extremely important role in balancing the ecosystem... They desperately need protection if we're not going to drive them to extinction.'

The Trust manages the national resources and tourism in the Bahamas is a major industry, with shark diving earning $80 million a year. Each reef shark has been estimated at bringing quarter of a million dollars into the archipelago’s economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette told the press he did not believe the ban would affect relations with China, 'This is in keeping with the government's commitment to pursue conservation policies and strategies in order to safeguard the marine and terrestrial environment.'

Well done!
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Comments (1)
15/07/2011 @ 9:37 pm
Darren M
Here Here!!!Sharks get a bad press, but are one of the oceans most beautiful and complex characters. Well done indeed.
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