Monday, September 28, 2009
Shark protection - Palau to lead witht the right example
This is exactly what tiny Pacific state Palau plans to do. Palau's president Toribiong said how his country plans to create the world's first "shark sanctuary", banning all commercial shark fishing in its waters. This area will protect about 600,000 sq km (230,000 sq miles) of ocean giving many shark species chance to recover population.
Globally, sharks are being massively slaughtered, some estimates say that around 100 million sharks are killed each year, and if this trend continues many shark species will be brought to the brink of extinction. Current protection efforts are definitely not enough, and unless we see more examples like this one from Palau we will very soon witness big problems with marine ecosystems.
Palau is really the first nation that recognized how important sharks are to healthy marine environments, and protecting such large area is bold first step that many other countries should follow if we are to protect these majestic creatures. So far the best examples of shark protection were implementation of catch limits and restrictions on shark fining which is definitely not enough to show shark killing as current numbers show.
With this "shark sanctuary" Palau will become the No.1 country in the world in shark conservation efforts. Currently 21% of shark species are listed as "threatened with extinction" while 18% are "near threatened". These numbers reflect the seriousness of situation, and it is of vital importance to find the possible solutions that could ensure more efficient conservation efforts. Protection areas definitely look to be one of the best available options to save sharks. However many countries will have to follow Palau's example if we are to see some success.