Kiribati establishes large shark sanctuary In this March 30, 2004, file photo, a man fishes on a bridge on Tarawa atoll, Kiribati. The island nation of Kiribati established a large shark sanctuary that will help ensure the creatures are protected across much of the central Pacific. (AP Photo/Richard Voge/John Bazemore, File)
Kiribati establishes large shark sanctuary
Lexile

The island nation of Kiribati has established a large shark sanctuary. It will help ensure the creatures are protected across much of the central Pacific.
 
Vice President Kourabi Nenem said that the nation was committed to protecting sharks from exploitation and overfishing.
 
Kiribati has banned commercial shark fishing in the sanctuary. The area is about the size of India.
 
Palau established the first shark sanctuary in the region in 2009. It has been followed by the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and other nations.
 
The Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that 100 million sharks are killed each year by commercial fisheries. It says sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because they're slow to mature and reproduce.
 
Sharks are prized by some for their fins, which are used in shark fin soup.
 
Ben Namakin, who was born in Kiribati and has pushed for the sanctuary, said he first began to consult elders and community groups with the idea about four years ago. He said some people were resistant at first because Kiribati had a tradition of catching and eating sharks.
 
But he said the elders didn't like the way commercial operators were fishing for the creatures and understood their plight more when told of their unusual biology.
 
"They came to realize the shark sanctuary was important to protecting our culture," Namakin said.
 
Luke Warwick is the director of Pew's global shark conservation campaign. He said the Pacific islands were leading the way when it came to protecting sharks and that Kiribati's announcement represented another significant step.
 
He said enforcement of the sanctuaries throughout the Pacific remained a difficult issue.
 
Warwick said the image of sharks was changing.
 
"Although they got a bad rap in the past, there's a growing movement that sees them as quite vulnerable," he said. "They need very strong protection."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
If sharks are so dangerous, why do they need to be protected in a sanctuary?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (11)
  • crowan-dav
    12/01/2016 - 07:34 p.m.

    In this article titled,"Kiribati establishes large shark sanctuary" makes me think why we would need to be protecting the sharks when they are very dangerous. In this passage it talks about in Kiribati they made a shark sanctuary because in the passage it says, "There's a growing movement that sees them as quite vulnerable." The passage also says, "They came to realize the shark sanctuary was important to protecting our culture," which also explains why the sharks need to be protected. I realize that sharks need to be protected strongly in Kiribati or else their culture will be destroyed.

  • alexisj1-lin
    12/02/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    The reason that the shark population needs to be protected is that sharks are crucial to the ecosystem. If the shark population continues to decrease, then the fish will have less predators. Then the fish population will get out of hand. Also, some sharks are scavengers, and eat the dead animals on the ocean floor to keep the ocean clean. And sharks are sometimes cruelly killed to make soup.Sharks rarely attack humans and when they do, it is because the sharks either mistook them for their natural prey, or the shark was starving.

  • hella-dav
    12/08/2016 - 06:36 p.m.

    This article is about the Kiribati Shark Sanctuary. An estimation of about 100 million sharks are killed each year by commercial fisheries. The new sanctuary is about the size of India. This allows many sharks to get away from fishers trying to score a few bucks. When Ben Namakin brought up the idea of the sanctuary some natives were resistant at first because of the tradition to catch and eat shark, but eventually they agreed. "They came to realize the shark sanctuary was important to protecting our culture," Namakin said.

  • vcara-dav
    12/08/2016 - 09:37 p.m.

    In response to "Kiribati Establishes Large Shark Sanctuary," I agree that sharks need to be protected in sanctuaries. One reason I agree is that they are crucial when it comes to the food chain. They make sure fish don't over populate. Another reason is that they are getting over fished, which could have negative impacts on other marine creatures as well as humans. It says in the article, "The Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that 100 million sharks are killed each year by commercial fisheries. It says sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because they're slow to mature and reproduce."- Kiribati Establishes Large Shark Sanctuary. This shows how much the creatures need the sanctuaries. Millions of sharks get hunted for their fins, but they are slow to mature and reproduce so their numbers stay small. Even though some might consider them dangerous, I think
    as a whole giving the sharks sanctuaries will help everyone, and that they really need it.

  • jackiek-orv
    12/09/2016 - 11:26 a.m.

    Sharks need to be protected in a sanctuary because there is a that estimate that 100 million sharks are killed each year by commercial fisheries.

  • ochristina-dav
    12/09/2016 - 07:20 p.m.

    In response to "Kiribati establishes large shark sanctuary," I agree that the sharks in the area should be protected and put into a sanctuary. One reason I agree is that sharks actually under science might have a cure for cancer since most sharks do not get cancer, so if we do not put them all on the brink of extinction, we might make a discovery. Another reason is that sharks can not reproduce so often, and their pups when born can be eaten by other predators in the ocean. It says in the article, "It says sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because they're slow to mature and reproduce," which supports my second reason. A third reason is that sharks are facinating creatures and overall SHOULD be protected. Even though people might think fishing for them often is fun, I think it would mean more to protect them.

  • carmenh-orv
    12/15/2016 - 03:02 p.m.

    Sharks need to be protected in a sanctuary because since people see them as dangerous they might want to kill them. if sharks population got to low, smaller fishes would overcrowd the ocean.

  • graced-vos
    12/18/2016 - 07:26 p.m.

    I think it's good that they have sanctuaries to help sharks. Although not everyone may like sharks, they are still very important to the environment.

  • marqueel-orc
    1/06/2017 - 02:47 p.m.

    Sharks are a important part of the ecosystem.

  • vcara-dav
    1/19/2017 - 10:11 p.m.

    In response to "Kiribati Establishes Large Shark Sanctuary," I agree that it was a good idea for them to create the shark sanctuary. One reason I agree is that it could be part of some cultures.

    Another reason is that sharks are being overfished, which could unbalance the food chain and negatively affect many different species. It says in the article, "It says sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because they're slow to mature and reproduce. This provides support for the fact that sharks are overfished, and should be in the sanctuary.

    Even though some people do not like sharks and they can be dangerous, I think that the sanctuary will help everyone as a whole.

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