Saturday 24 May 2014

British Virgin Islands to become shark sanctuary

A shark sanctuary is to be created in the territorial waters of The British Virgin Island, its government has announced. The waters cover an approximate 31,000 square miles and it is hoped that the sanctuary will help protect all shark species. Shark numbers have been dwindling and in January the IUCN announced that a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.

Kedrick Pickering, deputy premier and minister for natural resources, said that the loss of sharks disrupts the predator-prey balance, compromising the health of oceans and reefs and the survival of other marine creatures.

"The best way to manage their populations is to let them fulfill their ecological role as apex predators," Pickering said at a conference in Belgium.”

The islands are a British overseas territory and comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands that are located in the Virgin Islands archipelago.

Business tycoon Richard Branson, who owns one of the islands ,Necker, welcomed the news and tweeted “British Virgin Islands establish permanent #shark & ray sanctuary. Big step forward for conservation.” 

To read all about the great white shark and its threats, behavour, diet and favoured habitats click HERE 

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