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Micronesian islands have declared vast areas of the Pacific Ocean to be a sanctuary for sharks. It's the latest move in a trend to create zones where sharks can live undisturbed.
These top predators are in serious decline around the world because they are being over-fished. Mostly, they are caught to feed an insatiable appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia.
This conservation strategy effort started out small. Two years ago, the tiny Pacific nation of Palau declared its territorial waters a shark sanctuary. Next came the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. This June, Honduras said it too would ban shark fishing in its waters. And last month the Bahamas followed suit.
But nothing tops what just happened out in the southwestern Pacific, where islands in Micronesia, including Guam and the Marshall Islands, have said they would ban shark fishing in more than 2 million square miles of their waters.
"We're talking about an area two-thirds of the size of the continental United States," says Matt Rand at the Pew Environment Group. "That is a significant safe-haven for sharks."
Read the full article Fighting Decline, Micronesia Creates Shark Sanctuary
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