The Maldives bans shark fishing, by Charles Clover in Doha

Charles Clover in Doha

The Maldives has announced that it has banned shark fishing in its waters, creating a sanctuary for those species in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives currently allows only pole and line fishing for tuna. The Maldives representative said at the Cites meeting that the island government was hoping that the this would be a contribution to global conservation and would benefit its tourism industry which is heavily geared to dive tourism. But it was looking to other countries to adopt similar policies to save sharks.

A proposal to ban the commercial trade in polar bear parts and products, submitted by the US, was defeated by 62 votes to 48.

So far no signnificant proposals have been passed at the Doha meeting.

The Mariana Mallard was deleted from the Cites list on the grounds that it is probably extinct and therefore impossible to conserve.

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