09/23/2011 - Mexico announced here plans yesterday to ban shark and stingray fishing starting next year, creating what would be the largest initiative by one nation to protect shark species.
The temporary moratorium is part of a burgeoning global movement against the trade of shark fins used as an ingredient in an Asian delicacy. Mexican authorities said they were inspired by the "shark sanctuary" declared two years ago by Pacific nation of Palau.
Conservationists estimate that about 73 million sharks are slaughtered each year mainly for acquiring their fins, and they fear that the uncontrolled and illegal fishing of sharks will drive 30 percent of shark species to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's classification of threatened or near threatened with extinction.
"I think that's a tremendous development," said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. "Mexico is a big fishing nation, it's a very important nation globally, and that's a tremendous statement that was made."
Read the full article, Mexico Will Ban Shark Fishing as Global Sanctuary Movement Grows, on The New York Times' Web site.