Vice Speaker Cites Evidence of Decline In Shark Species Around Guam

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Guam – Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz maintains that there is scientific evidence that the number of sharks around Guam has fallen.

Cruz has introduced Bill 44 which seeks to ban the sale and trade in shark fins to help preserve endangered species. But Guam Fisherman’s Co-Op President Manny Dueanas has argued that there is no evidence that sharks are endangered around Guam.

In response, during a public hearing Tuesday evening on his Bill 44, Cruz submited  graph from NOAA which he says shows that sharks biomass on Guam are virtually nonexistent compared with other areas of the Mariana Archipelago.

Read the NOAA Shark Fact Sheet

A release quotes Senator Cruz as saying, “Based on the testimonies of scientists, I was surprised at the low number of sharks found during recent surveys. It was so low that is would be like walking through 25 Micronesia malls and only seeing 10 people.”

Also at the Tuesday hearing,  GAIN member, and U.S. Attorney, Karon Johnson testified in support of  a bill 44.

Read Johnson’s Testimony

In her testimony, Johnson said there is no conflict between Federal Law and the bill. Johnson testified  “Guam law fills in the gaps. Federal law only applies if the fins have been moved in interstate or foreign commerce. Thus, the boat could be fishing in Guam waters, engage in shark finning, and bring fins to shore without any federal violation because there would have been no transportation in foreign or interstate commerce. This bill is long overdue because it allows Guam to protect sharks taken within its jurisdiction, as well as those imported from the high seas.”

ice Speaker B.J. Cruz introduced the measure the propsoed shark fiBill No. 44-31 (COR) fills gaps in Federal Law and is supported by scientific
data
Subsequent to the Public Hearing for Bill No. 44-31 (COR), Vice Speaker Cruz
has garnered additional testimony that supports his proposed legislation.