The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) has seized over 60,000 lb of shark carcasses and more than 1,500 lb of shark fins from a Japanese fishing vessel.
The vessel was fined $125000 for violation of the shark fishing law.
The fine imposed on the Satsuma is reportedly the first issued under the fisheries law that went into force in late 2011.
The Marshall Islands is regarded as home to the world's largest shark sanctuary. As per the legislation passed by the Nitijela, the Parliament of the Marshalls, all forms of commercial fishing of sharks has been banned in all 1,990,530 square kilometers (768,547 square miles) of the central Pacific country's waters, an ocean area four times the landmass of California.
The law also has provisions for imposing large monetary fines for anyone who is found to be fishing sharks or in possession of shark fins. This fine could be anywhere in between $25,000 to $200,000. In addition, violators would be fined the market value of the product in their possession.
The fine was based on it being the first offense and the value of the shark on board, said enforcement officer Marcella Tarkwon.
So far in 2012, officer Tarkwon mentioned that enforcement teams have boarded dozens of long-line fishing boats and trans-shipment vessels in Majuro and found that almost all of them had shark fins on board.
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