The announcement of the Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action on Sharks sounds like a good idea, but as they say "the devil is in the details."
While this plan of action "tips a hat" towards shark fining as a regional issue along management of shark stocks, it fails to look at sustainable shark tourism options that generate per shark, thousands of dollars to local and regional economies.
Shark tourism is a viable bridge solution to successful shark conservation and management.
Where local inhabitants adopt "safe and sane" shark tourism, sharks, reefs and surrounding areas flourish:
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) today launched the Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks.
At least 80 species of sharks and rays occur within the Pacific Islands region. Around half of these species are considered to be highly migratory, therefore fishing impacts upon them must be internationally managed. Due to their low productivity and long life span, these species are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation. Sharks and rays are also of cultural significance to many Pacific Island communities.