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Before the Fins are Finished

Bali Urged to Pass Laws to Save Sharks from Extinction in Islandís Surrounding Waters

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Conservation International, sharks, manta rays, Raja Ampat, reef sharks, thresher sharks, sharkís fin, Ketut Putra
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The Jakarta Post reports that Conservation International (CI) is urging the government of Bali to implement regulations that would make Bali a sanctuary for sharks living in its surrounding waters.

A marine survey performed in 2011 showed a dramatic depletion in shark populations, with only 3 sharks counted in 350 hours of survey diving.

Ketut Putra, the CI country executive director also said evidence exists of a wholesale slaughter of pregnant thresher sharks in the waters between Padang Bai and Nusa Dua.

Putra added: “The severe depletion of sharks in Bali’s waters is an urgent marine conservation management issue due to the important role sharks play in keeping the ocean ecosystems healthy. We urge the Bali government to implement legislation to ban shark fishing and to create a shark sanctuary.”

CI is also calling for manta rays to be included due to the high value of manta ray tourism for divers and snorkelers at Nusa Penida.

Putra continued: “The creation of a Bali shark sanctuary would be well received by the international community at a time when Bali is increasingly criticized for its environmental problems. Such a move will also keep Bali in good stead with its competitors in marine tourism, as many of them, such as the Maldives, Bahamas, Palau and Guam, have recently declared shark sanctuaries.”

The creation of a sharks’ sanctuary in Bali would follow the example set by the administration in Raja Ampat (Papua) that declared its 4 million hectares of marine waters off limits to shark harvesting. That same provincial ruling extends protection to manta rays, dugongs, whales, turtles, dolphins and ornamental fish species.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest shark exporter, supplying 15% of the world shark fin supply.

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