Pioneering New Law In Hawaii Could Ban The Killing Of Any Shark Or Ray

A crucial new law in Hawaii could pass, which would protect the ocean's top predators from overfishing.

Sharks could soon become more numerous in Hawaii waters – and advocates say that’s a good thing.

Lawmakers in Honolulu advanced a proposed ban on killing sharks in state waters on Wednesday, after receiving hundreds of calls and letters of support from around the country. The law, which would provide sweeping protection for any shark, rather than select species, could be the first of its kind in the United States.

“These amazing animals are getting wiped out before our eyes, and people don’t even realize what they’re missing out on,” said Ocean Ramsey, a Hawaii-based shark conservationist, researcher and tour operator who has been instrumental in lobbying for the bill, in an interview with the Guardian. Last month, a photo of Ramsey swimming with a 6-metre (20ft) great white shark off the coast of Oahu went viral.

Along with killing the animals, capturing or harming them would also incur fines and count as a misdemeanor offense.

Sharks, Ramsey said, are deeply misunderstood. Their presence in the ocean is unlike any other animal’s, she noted.

Read Full Story: The Guardian/Breena Kerr

Photo: Scott Perry/Wikimedia Commons

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

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