Honduras declares shark sanctuary

In an ongoing global movement to protect sharks, Honduras says it is declaring its waters a permanent sanctuary for the fish.

President Porfirio Lobo Sosa signed the sanctuary bill into law Friday, making permanent a 2010 moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks in the 92,665 square miles of Honduras’ exclusive economic zone, which covers both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

Creating a shark sanctuary was “an opportunity to contribute to the conservation of the species and protect our national patrimony,” Honduran first vice president Maria Antonieta Guillen de Bogran told The New York Times.

“We want to be a reference point for the world,” she said. “We’re a small country, but we can set an example.”

Conservationists said the Honduran sanctuary would help to protect dozens of species of sharks, all of which are feeling the pressure of fishing.

“All sharks take a long time to grow and mature,” Jill M. Hepp, manager of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group, said, “so they really need more protection than just the traditional fisheries management tools like size limits and closed seasons. Wholesale sanctuaries are a much better option.”

For the original report go to http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/06/24/Honduras-declares-shark-sanctuary/UPI-41091308940058/#ixzz1QFoWopdH

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