The Maldives has imposed a moratorium on the fishing of sharks in its territorial waters, making them into a shark sanctuary. A government official announced this on Tuesday, lending momentum to efforts to protect the fish at a United Nations endangered species conference that begins this week.
“We’ve decided to go ahead with a shark fishing ban,” Ibrahim Didi, the fisheries and agriculture minister of the Maldives, said that the ban will start on 1st July 2010 and that there will be a total ban on exports.
Maldives becomes the second nation to announce blanket protection for its sharks. Palau, a tiny Micronesian state, in September announced a ban on shark fishing. Like the Maldives, Palau is regarded as one of the world’s top scuba-diving destinations.