Petition Calls For Total Ban On Shark Hunting Maldives

Saturday, 27 December 2008 20:33

A marine conservation laboratory has sent a petition to ban shark hunting and the harvesting of sea turtle eggs to Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) demanding they lobby the government to take action. Marine biologists at the Banyan Tree resort conservation lab prepared the appeal and asked for a complete ban on shark hunting and the harvesting of sea turtle eggs as well as greater enforcement of protection for sea turtles...

The law at this moment gives protection to reef sharks but not to ocean sharks, as there is an assumption that these are the sharks the tourists come to see. “But the end result,” said Stevens, a senior marine biologist at Four Seasons resort, “is that we have someone at customs who can’t tell the difference between a shark caught in a reef and in the ocean. And it’s continued to the point where there’s nothing left. It takes decades and decades for the shark population to recover, but it doesn’t take long to wipe out.”

“We have gone from having guaranteed shark sites to not having any sharks at all.”, he said. With the result that shark hunting has affected lots of the local prime dive sites.

Stevens fears that a total ban on shark hunting might lead to fishermen passing off manta ray fins as shark fins. He would like to see protection for the rays as well as the sharks. “Resort managers and dive operators all want shark hunting to be stopped. We should all bombard the new government with positive constructive advice." said Stevens, “The government has an ethical responsibility to do something for future generations.”

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