News Release

Pew Environmental Group Washington, D.C. October 04, 2011

WASHINGTON (Pew Environmental Group) — The Republic of the Marshall Islands is now home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary.

The Nitijela, the Marshallese parliament, unanimously passed legislation last week that ends commercial fishing of sharks in all 1,990,530 square kilometers (768,547 square miles) of the central Pacific country’s waters, an ocean area four times the landmass of California.

"We salute the Republic of the Marshall Islands for enacting the strongest legislation to protect sharks that we have seen," said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group, which is spearheading efforts to establish shark sanctuaries, where targeted fishing for these species is prohibited. "As leaders recognize the importance of healthy shark populations to our oceans, the momentum for protecting these animals continue to spread across the globe."

Key provisions of the comprehensive Marshall Islands’ law include:

In addition, violators would be fined the market value of the product in their possession.

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