Thursday, March 1, 2012

Maldives Shark Sanctuary vs Military Coup 2012

In 2010 the Maldives government was lauded for declaring its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), 90,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean, as a shark sanctuary free from all shark fishing and also banned all imports and exports of shark fins.

Today the Maldives is in the middle of what many are describing as a full blown military coup.

The first very real test of the global shark sanctuary effort will take place in the Maldives over the next two years.

For a look at how this might play out we went in search of a website that would give us the, 'Maldives political landscape in a nutshell' and found it here at the Institute of Development Studies:

"After the 2004 Tsunami which devastated the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States offered reconstruction funds and support to educate imams and teachers. This was coupled with the introduction of conservative Wahabi and Salaist interpretations of Islam. Since then, public flogging of women for alleged offenses has re-occurred, and more conservative dress and practices are on the rise. The Islamic political party tabled a law banning massage and alcohol on the tourist islands; although this decision was quickly repealed, since it was not in the interest of tourism industry elites."

There's a lot going on in the Maldives these days, suffice to say that sharks and shark conservation might not be a top priority.

Stay tuned.

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