07/05/2011 - The Bahamas announced Tuesday morning it would end all commercial shark fishing in its waters, an area that encompasses more than 240,000 square miles.
The move — under which only the catch and release of sharks is permitted — marks the second time in two weeks that a Caribbean nation has enacted broad protections for sharks in its exclusive economic zone. Honduras instituted a total ban on shark fishing in its waters June 24.
The Bahamas National Trust, along with the U.S.-based Pew Environment Group, sponsored a petition drive, televised public service announcements and distributed posters and T-shirts. Several international shark advocates — including Pierre-Yves Cousteau, the son of Jacques Cousteau, artist Guy Harvey and Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey — visited the Bahamas to push for the ban.
Jill Hepp, the Pew Environment Group’s manager of global shark conservation, said that “2011 is fast becoming the year of the shark. We applaud the people and government of the Bahamas for being bold leaders in marine conservation.”
Read the full article, Bahamas Bans Commercial Shark Tishing, on the Washington Post's Web site.