Bahamas to Commit to Shark Protection

Tiger SharkNASSAU, THE BAHAMAS – On Tuesday, 5 July, the government of The Bahamas will announce new protections for sharks in the country”s waters, approximately 630,000 square kilometers (243,244 square miles). This declaration is the result of a partnership between the Pew Environment Group and The Bahamas National Trust, which began just as a major Bahamian seafood company announced its intention in September 2010 to catch sharks and export their fins.

The Bahamas is one of the premier shark-watching destinations for divers. According to the Bahamas Diving Association, shark related tourism has contributed more than US$800 million dollars to the Bahamian economy over the past 20 years. The country”s 20-year-old ban on longline fishing gear has left Bahamian waters as one of the few places in the world where sharks are still thriving, but there have been no specific protections for sharks until now.