Southeast Texas Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Saving Sharks

Ocean Sanctuaries Expand in Pacific

Nagy-Bagoly Arpad/Shutterstock.com

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati has established the world’s second-largest (1.3 million-square-mile) shark sanctuary, which bans commercial fishing throughout, and has also expanded the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary. The possession, trade and sale of sharks and shark products are also prohibited in these areas as is the use of fishing gear such as wire leaders for targeting sharks.

Worldwide, about 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries. Nearly 30 percent of all known shark species assessed by scientists are now threatened with extinction. Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they mature and reproduce slowly. Many Pacific island nations have established shark sanctuaries, recognizing the valuable ecosystem and economic roles that healthy populations provide.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora recently added 13 shark and mobula ray species to its list, a step toward ensuring sustainable and legal trade of these species.


This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Dirty Driving

From Paris to Athens to Seattle, cities are struggling to counter vehicular pollution with car-free days and other strategies.

Tree Terminators

From New England to the West Coast, forests are under attack from an army of invasive insects that may eat several native tree species to extinction.

Water Saver

A South African girl has designed a super-absorbent polymer made of recycled avocado skins and orange peels that can store reserves of water hundreds of time its own weight.

Add your comment: