During the 17th Micronesian Chief Executives Summit, held in the village of Tamuning this week, representatives from the Pew Environment Group congratulated Guam leaders on the one-year anniversary of the signing of Public Law 31-10, which prohibits the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins, rays, and ray parts.
“Guam was only the third place in the world to fully ban the shark fin trade, helping to build global momentum to reduce human impact on these animals,” said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “In the year since Governor Eddie Calvo signed this law, shark protections have spread to other parts of the Pacific, as well as to the West Coast of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America.”
Two regional agreements were forged last summer. In June, the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures passed a resolution calling for additional measures to safeguard sharks. In July, attendees at the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit approved a measure for the parties to establish a first-ever shark sanctuary that would encompass the waters of Palau, the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and its four member states, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.
“The Marshall Islands created the world's largest shark sanctuary in September. Coupled with Palau's sanctuary, leaders in Micronesia are quickly fulfilling their commitment to protect these magnificent animals in their waters,” said Rand. “Micronesia now has the opportunity to pass similar measures and deliver on the promise of a regional shark sanctuary.”