Friday, March 2, 2012

Resolution Calls for Shark Sanctuary in Federated States of Micronesia

Palikir, Pohnpei, FSM—Congress is considering a resolution that would request the President of the FSM and the four State governments to take action to declare the FSM exclusive economic zone as a marine sanctuary.

In the Western and Central Pacific Ocean the FSM EEZ is second in size only to the EEZ of Kiribati. It is a huge area of ocean comparable in size to the entire land mass of the Continental United States.

The resolution, which has not yet come to a vote in the FSM Congress, would be a Congressional declaration that the FSM EEZ is a marine sanctuary for sharks, rays, dolphin and, whales. It would urge President Mori to take necessary action to create the sanctuary and for the Governors of each FSM State to do the same for each of their 12 mile zones within the FSM EEZ.

The resolution was sponsored by former FSM President, Senator Joseph Urusemal of Yap.

The resolution recognizes the important role that sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales play in the ocean’s ecosystem, as well as a significant part of the FSM’s cultural heritage and tourism throughout the FSM.

It says that international agencies have indicated that the populations of sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales are in a worldwide decline. “Despite efforts to educate the public as to the disruption to the ocean’s equilibrium, sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales are still in decline,” the resolution says.

If the FSM passes the resolution it would join “the international community in its commitment to ensure that sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales do not become extinct.

Last year the Republic of Palau declared its waters to be a shark sanctuary and banned shark finning, in their EEZ.

Written by Bill Jaynes and published in the Kaselehlie Press on February 22, 2011.
A shark sanctuary in the Federated States of Micronesia would create a contiguous area of ocean stretching from Palau in the west to the Marshall Islands in the east where sharks were protected.  Leaders at the 15th Micronesian Chief Executive Summit in Pohnpei agreed to create a Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary.  The Marshall Islands and Palau declared shark sanctuaries in 2009 and 2011, respectively, while Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands banned the sale, trade, and possesion of shark fin in 2011, the strongest protections they can implement as U.S. protectorates.  You can show your support by liking Micronesia Shark Defenders on Facebook.

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