Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shark and Ray Protections Enforced in Northern Mariana Islands

Eagle ray killed on Saipan.
The global shark news today is dominated by the shark cull in western Australia, the discovery of a whale shark processing center in China, and a new assessment by IUCN that estimates more than half of all shark and ray species are threatened or near threatened with extinction (53.9% to be exact), all of which are negative stories.

We want to bring attention to something positive.  A dive operator spent a night in jail in Saipan in the Commonwalth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for killing a spotted eagle ray.  While it is too late for this individual eagle ray, this successful enforcement action creates a deterrent that will ensure other individuals are left unharmed.

Spotted eagle rays are assessed as near threatened by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, and their populations are decreasing around the world.  Congratulations to the CNMI Division of Fish & Wildlife.

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