16 Oct 2013

Fears a CNMI shark protection law can be trumped by proposed regional plan

9:38 pm on 16 October 2013

The Northern Marianas says a two-year-old law against possession, selling, trading or distributing shark fins could be supplanted by a proposed shark management plan being considered by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The proposal includes what is called a directed fishery for sharks that will allow the indirect catching of sharks.

The former representative behind the shark protection law, Diego Benavente, says the CNMI government should voice its concerns on the proposed shark management methods.

Last week the fisheries council said fishermen in the Marianas archipelago - which includes the CNMI and Guam - have complained for more than a decade about shark depredation, including the taking of bait by sharks.

Mr Benavente says the council seems unconcerned with the need to protect sharks and the marine ecosystem.