28 Jul 2014

Marshall Islands the model for shark protection

8:31 pm on 28 July 2014

The Marshall Islands shark protection legislation is being used as a global model by an international conservation group.

A shark expert based with the Pew Foundation in Washington DC, Angelo Villagomez, says the group uses the Marshall Islands law to advocate for shark protection around the world.

National legislation is also under consideration by the Federated States of Micronesia Congress that would, if approved, cement shark sanctuaries throughout the exclusive economic zones in the three nations north of the equator.

Mr Villagomez says the legislation has been delayed due to domestic purse-seine fishing issues and says he is hopeful it will be resolved by a three-year transition period for compliance.

He says the Marshall Islands is a great example, as it enforces rules such as requiring tuna transshipment in port, carrying out inspections of vessels in port, having observers on all purse seiners, and high fines for infractions.