Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bahamas Signs Anti-Poaching Legislation to Protect Sharks

Toomey Cartoon A shark cartoon celebrating the Government’s decision to protect sharks in The Bahamas from poachers shows appreciation for the recognition of their importance to the ocean ecosystem. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).
by Gena Gibbs, Bahamas Information Service (BIS). Excerpts via www.thebahamasweekly.com

Nassau, The Bahamas – Anti-poaching legislation was signed July 5, 2011 to create a sanctuary that protects sharks in Bahamian waters from being hunted down for their fins.

“Today’s announcement permanently protects more than 40 shark species in Bahamian waters. We applaud the people and government of The Bahamas for being bold leaders in marine conservation", said Jill Hepp, manager of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group.  

The Bahamas was created into a new sanctuary, after a Bahamian seafood company threatened to catch sharks and export their fins. The collaboration between the Pew Environment Group and The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) produced popular public service announcements and a supportive petition signed by more than 5,000 Bahamians.
   
Since 1959, BNT has been the only non-governmental organisation, established by an Act of Parliament, to conserve Bahamian natural and historic resources, as well as manage the entire country’s national park system.  Its partnership with the PEW Environment Group uses science to protect the oceans, preserve wetlands and promote clean energy.
   
This partnership has attracted the attention of globally-known environmentalists, such as Pierre-Yves Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau), scientist and artist Guy Harvey, and Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey have contributed their share to supporting shark protection awareness in The Bahamas.

On July 5, The Bahamas national Trust and PEW witnessed the Bahamas Government sign an amendment to the Fisheries Act to impose penalties against those that violate anti-poaching legislation and kill sharks in The Bahamas to sell. Seated from left to right: Minister of the Environment, Earl Deveaux; Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Larry Cartwright; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Brent Symonette. The back row are members of PEW and the Bahamas National Trust. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

For full article, click here.

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