19 Sep 2012

American Samoans told how they can help reduce shark fin trade

3:42 pm on 19 September 2012

The comment period for new rules compiled by the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources in American Samoa after an executive order banning the fishing for sharks, ends next week.

The Coalition of Reef Lovers has partnered with the American Samoa Coral Reef Advisory Group to raise awareness about the important role that sharks play in the ecosystem and why they must be conserved.

Jennifer Sowato of the Pew Charitable Trust and a senior associate for the shark conservation campaign says the territory can help put a dent in the shark fin trade.

"In the territory I don't believe there is any shark fishing. But worldwide up to 73 million sharks are killed a year for the global shark fin trade. And what American Samoa can do, while their fishing may not be happening here, is that they can close off their ports to other nations or fishing vessels that are impacting these shark populations."

Jennifer Sowato of the Pew Charitable Trust.