Honduras Announces Shark Sanctuary
Honduras President Porfirio Lobo Sosa has revealed that a permanent shark sanctuary will be put in place in Honduran waters. This announcement follows up a moratorium placed on shark-fishing last year and the designation encompasses all 240,000 kilometres of the country's exclusive economic zone on its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Honduras is keen to preserve sharks in the area as they are a key attraction for divers, with scuba tourism being the primary source of revenue for the country. Whale Sharks, which are the world's largest fish, are a major attraction for scuba and snorkel divers alike in Utila. "We have seen that protecting sharks helps our environment and our people," said Honduran Vice President María Antonieta Guillén de Bogran, who also attended the announcement. "When tourists come to Roatan and other destinations, they spend money to see the sharks. But these animals don't just help the Honduran economy. Our coral reefs and marine environment thrive because these apex predators are safe in our waters. Today's declaration will help us all, underwater and on land, for generations to come." "Honduras has now set a conservation standard that other countries in the Americas should emulate," said Jill Hepp, manager of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group. "More and more, world leaders are realizing that, in addition to their value to the ecosystem, sharks are worth more alive - for diving, snorkeling and watching - than dead."