Thursday, February 5, 2015

FSM Shark Sanctuary Law Sits On President's Desk

The Federated States of Micronesia are set to become the second largest shark sanctuary on the planet.
FSM Passes Landmark Shark Legislation
During the final hours in the afternoon of February 4, 2015, the 18th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia passed a law which amends Title 24 of the FSM Code to include the prohibition of possessing, handling and selling of shark and shark fin in all of FSM’s Exclusive Economic Zone. With this new shark law, FSM now joins the Republic of Palau (ROP), the republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), US territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Island (CMI) in the effort to protect the declining population of sharks in Micronesian waters.

FSM’s 200-mile EEZ covers a sea area of more than 3 million square kilometers (1.3 million square miles) representing the largest single EEZ among the three eastern Micronesia countries.

Pew marine fellow Willy Kostka of The Pew Charitable Trusts, shark sanctuary bill sponsor Senator Singkoro Harper of Chuuk, Ricky Carl of the Nature Conservancy, and Carlotta Leon Guerrero of The Pew Charitable Trusts after passage of the bill by the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia. The bill now sits on President Manny Mori's desk awaiting signature.
As part of a technical working group assembled to draft this new legislation, representatives from the Micronesia Conservation Trusts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, and a local private law firm are tasked to work with a selected group of staff from the FSM Attorney General’s Office, Department of Resource and Development, the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) as well as representatives from the fishing industry in FSM. This group now aims to work with the Office of the President of the FSM to ensure that this landmark legislation is signed and enacted into law in the coming weeks. [source]

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