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Bahamas Shark Sanctuary – advancing shark conservation

bahamas shark sanctuary

The Bahamas shark sanctuary was created in July of 2011 by adding an amendment to the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act (Chapter 244). The amendment created shark protections throughout all the territorial waters of the Bahamas, over 650,000 square kilometers of ocean. It was a major win for sharks, who already benefit from the long-line ban of 1992. The Bahamas has long history of valuing sharks, recognizing the large amount of revenue through shark specific ecotourism. Here’s what the amendment says:

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  1.  Citation.

These Regulations, which amend the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Regulations, may be cited as the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011.

  1.  Insertion of new PART VA into the principal Regulations. 

The principal Regulations are amended by the insertion immediately after Regulation 36, of the new PART VA as follows-

PART VA

SHARK

36A. Prohibition on possessing, fishing for or landing shark or shark parts.

Subject to Regulation 36D, no person shall possess, fish for or land, any shark or shark parts with.in The Bahamas or within the Exclusive Fishery Zone ofThe Bahamas.

36B. Prohibition on the sale of shark, shark parts or shark products.

No person shall sell any shark, shark parts or shark products within The Bahamas or within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas.

36C. Prohibition on export or import of shark, shark parts or shark products.

Subject to Regulation 36D, no person shall export from, or import into, The Bahamas–

(a) any shark;
(b) shark parts; or
(c) shark products.

36D. Permit to fish for, possess or export any shark or shark parts for educational, scientific or research purposes.

(1) A person who wishes to fish for, have in his possession or export any shark or shark parts for educational, scientific or research purposes, shall apply to the Minister for a permit.
(2) An application made under paragraph (1), shall be made in the manner set out in Form 19A in the First Schedule.
(3) Where the Minister approves an application made under paragraph (1), he shall issue a permit as set out in Form 20A of the First Schedule, specifying the terms and conditions of the approval including the payment of fees as specified in the Third Schedule

36E. Catch and release of sharks.

A person who hooks or catches a shark while fishing shall promptly release the shark into the sea unharmed.”.

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We’re obviously very excited to work in a sanctuary where sharks are protected and valued.  There’s certainly work to be done and as with any new regulations, it will take time and proper enforcement to effect change.

Bahamas Shark Sanctuary

bahamas shark sanctuary

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