Honduras The First Shark Sanctuary in the Americas

Honduras The First Shark Sanctuary in the Americas

On June 24, 2011, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa declared the creation of a permanent shark sanctuary encompassing all of the country's Pacific and Caribbean waters. This meant that 240,000 square kilometers (92,665 miles) of water were placed off limits to commercial shark fishing.

This action built on the country's 2010 shark-fishing moratorium and positioned Honduras as a leader in global shark conservation. In September 2010 at the United Nations, the Honduran leader joined President Johnson Toribiong of Palau, who had just declared all of Palau's waters a shark sanctuary, to challenge other coastal nations to establish more shark sanctuaries in their waters. They called on leaders to prohibit shark fishing and on all fishing nations to end shark finning and the global overfishing of sharks.

Sharks play an important role in the marine environment. As apex predators, they help maintain the balance of life in our oceans. In addition to their value to the ecosystem, sharks are an important economic asset for tourism and are worth more alive for activities such as diving, snorkeling and shark watching, than for their fins and meat.

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