It is now official :
Shark fishing is finally forbidden everywhere in Maldives !
The Maldives belong since yesterday, March 01st 2010, to the small group of countries where sharks are protected !.
The question of shark protection started more than 10 years ago
The question of shark protection in Maldives is not from yesterday but started more than 10 years ago…
Indian Ocean and Pacific are the main sources of this activity.
In Maldives, shark fishing was first done to take the oil of shark livers in order to maintain boats.
Shark eating is not in the local food tradition.
But shark fishing is for liver oil
Shark fishing has widely and rapidly developed itself to answer to the huge request from many known Asiatic countries. Along the years, the activity became a very lucrative fishing industry, after tuna fishing in Maldives.
Sharks attract thousands of visitors to the Maldives.
Fishing is lucrative but sharks are also one of the main reason for several thousands of visitors to visit the Maldives.
Shark observation is an extraordinary asset to the destination that has brought millions of USD to the Maldivian government.
This major income together with the slow and terrible disappearance of sharks ( sharks are considered as near extinct species ) brought Maldivian authorities to face the problem and wonder about it.
The authorities have requested scientific surveys since the beginning of 90’s.
As a matter of fact, sharks were already protected in Maldives, but only in limited areas -app.7 atolls. A limitation decided according to the levels of tourist numbers.
As praiseworthy was the decision ( a few countries participate to shark survival), the total area of protection was still very small in comparison to the total size of the Maldivian archipelago.
After almost 15 years of negotiations, petitions, scientific surveys, foundations of shark rescue groups and demonstrations, the Maldives belong since yesterday, March 01st 2010, to the (too) small group of countries that entirely protect sharks.
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