Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guam: it's Unanimous!

Stellar pic by Timbo!

From Timbo's Guam & Micronesia Dive Travel blog.

After a lot of emotional testimony from fishermen, school students, shark lovers and an amazing show of support from an international community of ocean loving concerned citizens from well over 100 countries, Guam’s legislators passed Bill 44-31 (scroll down) unanimously today.
The bill is intended to curb the trade of shark fins in the US Territory of Guam.

The bill was sponsored by Senator B.J. Cruz and co-sponsored by Senator Rory Respecio.

But more importantly, Guam becomes the third place in the world to officially ban possession and trade of the fins and also ray parts. A similar bill passed in January in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

With Palau declaring its waters a shark sanctuary in 2009, Yap having its water a manta ray sanctuary since 2008, Guam and the Nothern Mariana Islands banning fin trade, this creates a huge corridor in the western Pacific stretching 1300+ miles from north to south from Helen Reef in far southern Palau to Farralon de Medina in the northern CNMI and across four countries that now prosecute those involved in the non-sustainable shark fin trade. Hawaii in the east central Pacific, a US state, has the first such law on its books passed last year.

Thus, this is a real regional victory for the western Pacific nations and their marine resources.

Many, many people have contributed to this success but bear with me if I single out Stefanie who once again has invested all her time and energy and spent countless hours in difficult negotiations to ensure the best possible result for the Sharks. And lemme tell 'ya, looks are deceiving: never underestimate the ferocity and sheer determination of a Bavarian pit bull! :)
Girl, you rock!

Full story here, good recap here.

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