A proposed bill by Hawaiian state legislators would take shark protection in the Aloha State to another level. Senate Bill 2079 aims to protect all sharks and rays for ecological purposes, cultural value, and importance to ecotourism.
Hawaii has current laws that ban the act of shark finning, but recreational shark fishing (with fins attached) remains illegal. The bill acknowledges that sharks are crucial for the health of Hawaii’s marine ecosystem and to promote ecotourism.
“This bill is needed because sharks are the top predator in the ocean food chain and their numbers are declining,” Sen. Mike Gabbard, D-Oahu, said in a statement.
Surprisingly, even local fishing charter companies are on board with the bill. There’s not much demand for the only two edible sharks in Hawaii’s waters – mako and thresher – and trophy fishing is limited. The bill will also discourage animal abuse as has been documented in other ocean communities.
Learn more about the bill, here.
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