Guam- With over $100 million sharks killed worldwide every year by commercial fishing, Guam and the CNMI are joining in on the nationwide effort to ban shark finning.
In fact, Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and Senator Rory Respicio have teamed up to introduce Bill 44, which prohibits the trading and selling of shark fins and ray parts. While the Vice Speaker is off island, Senator Respicio explains the federal Shark Conservation Act already makes it illegal to import shark fins. However, this measure makes it possible for the local enforcement of the shark fin ban as well.
“People need to recognize that sharks do provide some contribution to maintaining the ecosystems there” said Respicio. “They are natural born predators and there’s really no need the way they harvest these sharks just for finning. They take the fin and then they leave the shark to bleed to death and just die. It’s just a very brutal and gruesome way.”
Respicio says he realizes they might be facing some resistance from commercial fishermen, but adds that local fishermen will not be harmed by the bill because federal law already prohibits importing shark fins. He mentions it’s time to tighten the loop in Micronesia.