Friday, August 1, 2014

Americans Fined $125,00 For Killing Sharks in Sanctuary

According to the Marshall Islands Journal, an American vessel has been fined $125,000 for illegal catching sharks inside the Marshall Islands Shark Sanctuary and setting their nets around a whale shark:
"A US fishing vessel has paid a $125,000 fine to the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) to settle alleged fishing violations it was cited for June this year.

According to MIMRA legal advisor Tion Nabau, the Sea Bounty was repeatedly spotted in Majuro lagoon using a towboat to set its long net and catch fish including silky sharks.

Nabau said that upon interviewing witnesses and the observer on the incidents, more violations by the vessel were revealed including a June 5 incident whereby a whale shark was caught within RMI waters."

Setting nets on whale sharks was outlawed at the WCPFC meeting in Manila in December 2012. The sharks, which are assessed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, are often stressed and die during the ordeal.

The Marshall Islands continues to be the model shark sanctuary in terms of its legal framework and enforcement. They are a global leader on the issue of shark conservation, and other countries should follow their lead.

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