Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shark’s New Playground

Palau, a small Pacific republic, has created the world’s first “shark sanctuary”, which will ban all commercial shark fishing in its waters. President Johnson Toribiong announced his plans to create the shark sanctuary during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2009. The plan would protect nearly 230, 000 square miles of ocean, an area similar to the size of France. This amazing effort by Palau has received global support, and has been coined the “leader of the world in shark conservation.” Over 130 shark species swim the waters surrounding Palau, and will be positively affected by the new sanctuary.

President Toribiong also called for a global ban on shark-fining, the act of removing the fins of sharks in order to sell and trade them. Shark-fining has become one reason why humans are public enemy number one for sharks. Over 100 million sharks are killed each year around the world, due largely in part to the shark-fining industry. Over half of the world’s sharks are currently at risk of extinction, and if this industry continues the shark population will be negatively affected forever.

The heroic effort by President Toribiong and the Palau community deserves a gold star for leading the way in saving our finned friends of the world!

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