To protect tourism – Bahamas bans commercial shark-fishing

The government of the

Bahamas bans commercial shark-fishing

to protect the tourism industry

The government of the Bahamas bans commercial shark-fishing. The announcement on Tuesday, July 5, said it will prohibit all commercial shark fishing in its more than 240,000 square miles of waters. The decision, announced by Lawrence Cartwright, minister of agriculture and marine resources, came following a media blitz by environmental groups and a petition signed by 5,000 Bahamian residents.
bahamas bans commercial shark-fishing again

About 40 species of sharks live in the waters of the island nation, whose Bimini chain is only about 50 miles from Miami. Tourism revenue from divers who pay to swim with sharks is estimated at $80 million annually.

Although the Bahamas has banned commercial longline fishing for nearly 20 years and established a network of marine parks, there was no previous law that specifically protected sharks. Then last fall, a Bahamian seafood company floated the idea of exporting sharks to feed the demand for shark fin soup in the Far East. That prompted the Bahamas National Trust — which is comparable to the National Park Service in the U.S. — and the U.S.-based Pew Environmental Group to launch a petition drive and media campaign to push for the shark-fishing ban.

The Atlantic Ocean archipelago is the fourth country to ban shark-fishing after Honduras, the Maldives and Palau. Environmentalists estimate that about 73 million sharks are killed each year to cater to high demand for its fins in Chinese cuisine.

bahamas map

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Posted by on July 6, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Responses to To protect tourism – Bahamas bans commercial shark-fishing

  1. A Michael J. Scott

    July 6, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hooray! Finally some protection for the ocean’s top predator.

  2. Barton

    July 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Commercial shark fishing should be banned worldwide.