The small island state of Kosrae to protect sharks | Pacific Beat

The small island state of Kosrae to protect sharks

The small island state of Kosrae to protect sharks

Updated 21 September 2012, 17:18 AEST

The small island state of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia has taken the first step in the FSM plan to create a massive shark sancturary in the northern Pacific.

The protected area will eventually cover more than five million square kilometres, two thirds the size of Australia.

Senator Rinson Edmond, a member of the Kosrae state legislature is telling Brian Abbott the sanctuary will help protect sharks and also improve the health of the pacific Ocean.

Presenter:Brian Abbott

Speaker: Senator Rinson Edmond, a member of the Kosrae state legislature in the Federated States of Mircronesia

EDMOND: As you know, under the national law, there is 12 mile zone has a territorial water for Kosrea and that's how big it is. It's considerably big and with shelf resources there obviously and we are referring support of conservation measures, including creating legislation that would compliment what the National government is doing as far as a vision of shark and other marine resources.

Kosrea is blessed with some of the unique kinds of sharks in the world, so I think that's what makes it also more interesting to go forward for enforcement of certain legislation that we preserve and hopefully that will be a long term realisation of the conservation effort of Kosrea state government.

ABBOTT: You've just protected the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, but sharks come and go in that limit and out into the broader Pacific Ocean. How do you provide protection for the sharks when they're not in the 12 mile area?

EDMOND: As you know, current laws of the FSM or the Federated States of Micronesia has established a EE Zone which is the economic zone for the nation and it's overlapping from one state to another state and it encompasses vast water area and that also help in any migratory species that moving from one direction, one area, one island to another island, because it's considerably a very big mass of oceans that's been under protection now.

ABBOTT: Kosrea is the first state in the Federeted States of Micronesia to move to protect sharks in their water. How many other states have to do the same?

EDMOND: There are four states comprised of the Federated States of Micronesia, which include sister states of Phonpei, Yapp and Chuuk and Kosrae, and during the recent Womens Conference, at the same Womens Conference which was held in Chuuk about a month ago, they also promote and further endorse that all the states work together to pass legislation and as you know, the 200 mile zone overlapping from one state to the other into the international water is a big mass of ocean that will be a sanctuary.

ABBOTT: How soon before that comes about?

EDMOND: Kosrae has set the precedent now and hopefully other state will follow. I understand that there are some serious discussion in Chuuk government, especially from the legislative side and there appeal towards taking positive actions, but when hopefully it will be soon and that would be the same for other state. Hopefully this would be something that we can share with the other parts of the region essential role of creating some sustainable contribution measures that would be a win-win situation for everyone.

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