The new law which was approved by the islands Agriculture Minister Larry Cartwright in the capital Nassau on Tuesday effectively turns the nation’s territorial waters of the Bahamas into nothing less than a shark sanctuary.
The Bahamas now joins The Maldives, Palau and Honduras in outlawing shark-fishing and has banned all shark fishing, prohibited the sale, import and export of any shark products in its 630,000 sq km ( 243,000 square miles) of waters.
In a further gesture to protect sharks the government have also raised shark-fishing fines from $3,000 (Â£1,900) to $5,000.
Many environmentalist have rejoiced at this latest shark-fishing ban from the Bahamas with the President of Bahamas National Trust, Neil McKinney adding:
“Sharks play an extremely important role in balancing the ecosystem.
“They desperately need protection of we’re not going to drive them to extinction.”
According to a recent survey Tourism is a major industry in the Bahamas and shark-diving earns $80 million a year in revenues, but despite increased trade with China over the years the deputy Prime Minister, Brent Symonette, does not believe that the new imposed shark fishing ban will effect their relationship with China and was quoted saying:
“The government is committted to persue conservation policies and strategies to safeguard marine and terrestrial environment.”