In response, rather than simply preempting the laws, NOAA has undertaken a series of consultations with states and territories. California, Washington, and Maryland were recently exempted from preemption because their laws do not interfere with the production of shark fins. Fishermen are still allowed to catch sharks in those states.
Some are even speculating that the political influence of the three states may have played a role in their early exemption. Now that the political firestorm is dying down, who will stand with the territories?
|The first sustainable shark fishery has crashed apparently because it wasn't very sustainable.|
|NOAA wants to base policy on stories told by fishermen, not science.|
NOAA continues on to suggest that "shark catches could reduce shark biomass." That's clearly a shark cull disguised as a "sustainable shark fishery." It is incredibly disrespectful that NOAA would suggest a shark cull when the people of the Marianas have so loudly pronounced to the world that they want to protect sharks. Both governors joined other executives in the region to call for a Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary. And both legislatures joined other lawmakers from across the Pacific to call for a Pacific-wide shark sanctuary. If anything, NOAA should be coming to the islands with plans for more conservation, not less.
|Endangered scalloped hammerheads have low vulnerability?|
NOAA should stand with the American citizens living in the territories and respect their close relationship to the ocean and protect sharks. Stop the cull in the Marianas before it starts.