X

Island Nation Creates Largest Shark Sanctuary

Protected area size of Mexico
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 8:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Mexico-size chunk of the Pacific will soon be a haven for sharks—and they have a tiny island nation to thank. The Marshall Islands’ government is declaring its waters off-limits to commercial shark fishing and the trade of shark products, the BBC reports, providing the creatures with 750,000 square miles of worry-free swimming. “There is no greater statement we can make about the importance of sharks to our culture, environment, and economy,” says a senator.

story continues below

“Ours may be a small island nation, but our waters are now the biggest place sharks are protected.” Violators of the new rules will face up to $300,000 in fines. It’s “the strongest legislation to protect sharks that we have seen,” says a shark-conservation rep for the Pew Environmental Group, and the move ups sharks' protected area worldwide to about 1.8 million square miles. Keeping a close eye on fishing boats is good news for marine biodiversity in general, the BBC notes. But some question how the rules can be enforced over such a large area. (Read more sharks stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X