Hawaii Becomes First US State To Completely Ban The Hunting Of Sharks

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Hawaii Becomes First US State To Completely Ban The Hunting Of Sharks

The US state of Hawaii has announced that it is going to ban all shark fishing as a way of preserving the creatures who live off the coast of the islands.


The new bill, known as House Bill 553, was put into law last year but has only now come into effect. The law is written in that it will protect all sharks and ban individuals to 'knowingly capture, entangle, or kill a shark in state marine waters.' Breaking this law will be a misdemeanour offence, but will carry hefty fines of as much as $10,000. Hawaii is home to 400 species of fish and 40 types of shark, though their numbers have been declining in recent decades due to over-fishing and ecological breakdown.


Brian Neilson, Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator, said of the new law taking effect:


"Our Department is well aware of how important sharks are to maintain healthy marine ecosystems. And we recognize their importance for native Hawaiian cultural practices and beliefs."


In a statement on the Hawaii state government website, read:


"According to Act 51, the conditions of non-commercial permits for the take of sharks 'shall include native Hawaiian cultural protocol, size and species restrictions, and a prohibition on species listed as endangered or threatened.' It is recommended that people avoid fishing in areas known to be frequented by sharks, especially pupping areas, and use barbless circle hooks. If a shark is caught accidentally from a boat, avoid bringing it onto the vessel whenever possible. To release it, cut the line as safely as possible close to the shark's mouth. Violation of the new law will be a misdemeanour, but carries significant penalties."


Further amendments to the law also mean that breeding areas for sharks are further protected and that the wider ecosystem should be better maintained.


[Based on reporting by: My Modern Met]


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Thinking Humanity: Hawaii Becomes First US State To Completely Ban The Hunting Of Sharks
Hawaii Becomes First US State To Completely Ban The Hunting Of Sharks
The US state of Hawaii has announced that it is going to ban all shark fishing as a way of preserving the creatures who live off the coast of the isla
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