4 Oct 2011

Marshalls declares shark sanctuary

2:07 pm on 4 October 2011

The Marshall Islands government has created the world's largest shark sanctuary, covering nearly two million square kilometres.

The parliament unanimously passed legislation last week which bans the trade in shark products and commercial shark fishing throughout the Marshalls waters.

The legislation also includes for fines of up to 200,000 US dollars for anyone found to be fishing for sharks or in possession of shark fins.

One of the sponsors of the sanctuary, Tony deBrum, says there is no greater statement the Marshalls can make about the importance of sharks to its culture, environment and economy.

The Pew Environmental Group's Matt Rand says his organisation salutes the Marshalls for enacting the strongest legislation so far for the protection of sharks.