All shark species capture has been banned for indefinite period. (Photo: Jim Abernathy)
Shark, ray and sea urchin fishing and trading banned
Monday, June 19, 2017, 21:20 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources announced a ban on fishing and trading all species of sharks, rays, parrotfish and sea urchins that inhabit the jurisdictional waters of the Dominican Republic.
It is also prohibited to trade its derivative products throughout the national territory, including its export or import.
Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito said that this measure is a first step, a call for attention to the need to protect the species that allow the health and survival of marine ecosystems, such as sharks or black sea urchins, but also the quality of corals and beaches, such as parrotfish and fish doctors.
"I am fully aware that a pure and simple prohibition does not solve the problem and that perhaps it will be an even greater challenge to enforce it, but this time we hope to have all the support of organisms such as CODOPESCA, the Dominican Navy and SENPA, with whom we coordinate this effort; but more than anything, it is the people who must support us by not consuming these species in a ban and denouncing those establishments that do not comply with the measure," said the head of the environmental ministry.
The minister acknowledged that hundreds of fishermen depend on capturing these species, but stressed "that some fishing gear is bringing these wonderful marine animals to the brink of collapse" and if nothing is done now, it will end up destroying everything.
In the case of the shark, the ban is for an indefinite period while for the "parrotfish" and the "doctor fish" a two year ban was imposed for fishing or commercial exploitation throughout the national territory, and its retention when they have been caught accidentally.
For the purple sea urchin, the Ministry of the Environment established a ban for five years for its capture, commercialization and removal of its natural environment in the jurisdictional waters of the Dominican Republic.