Let's end the week on some great news! This just in from the United Nations: before the General Assembly today, the President of Palau declared its 230,000 sq.mile Exclusive Economic Zone a shark sanctuary. This is the first shark sanctuary recognized by any country and it will hopefully send a message to other countries, regardless of their economic standing, that in the end it is better business to save and protect sharks than to slaughter them. Bravo, to Palau's President Toribiong for taking this step!
Here is the press release from Palau's Shark Sanctuary (www.sharksanctuary.com):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2009
LATE BREAKING NEWS!
PALAU DECLARES EEZ A SHARK SANCTUARY!
On Friday, September 25, 2009, H.E. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, a tiny Pacific Island nation, declared the waters of Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone (230, 000 Sq. Miles / 620,000 Sq. Kms.), as the worlds first officially recognized SHARK SANCTUARY, during a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York.
President Toribiong also called for a global ban on shark-finning and for other nations to follow suit. Through his actions, President Toribiong has placed Palau at the very forefront of worldwide efforts to protect sharks.
This is a tremendous day for Palau and for worldwide efforts to protect sharks from absolute and unsustainable destruction!
Palau Shark Sanctuary deeply commends President Toribiong for his international leadership in world efforts to protect sharks.
We are very proud of President Toribiong and of Palau on this momentous occasion.
Well done Mr. President!
Palau Shark Sanctuary
As I had mentioned in a previous post back in April, Palau went through a rocky period regarding commercial shark fishing, pressured by some outside commercial interests. That makes this move all the more important.
You can learn more at the Palau Shark Sanctuary web site and blog. To write congratulations to President Toribiong, the address is: Office of the President, P.O. Box 100, Koror, Palau 96940.