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Sir Richard Branson campaigns for sharks in DR

The Ministry of Environment announced a two-year ban on the capture and sale (either domestically or for export) of all species of sharks, rays, parrotfish and sea urchins within the jurisdictional waters of the Dominican Republic.

Minister of Environment Francisco Dominguez Brito made the announcement when accompanied by entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Sir Richard Branson, best known for the Virgin brand companies. Branson visited accepting an invitation by Minister Domínguez.

Domínguez stressed Resolution No. 023/2017 was issued to protect the oceans and marine species and thanked Branson for his support.

Branson explained that he is backing efforts in the Caribbean to put a stop to the capture of sharks and other species. He spoke of his pleasure in visiting to celebrate the protection of these species for future generations.

Domínguez said it was a first step, a call to the need to protect the species that are guarantees to health of survival of marine ecosystems, such as the sharks, the sea urchins and parrotfish. “We are fully aware that a simple ban will not resolve the problem and it will be a greater challenge to enforce the ban. But this time we trust that we have the support of organizations such as CODOPESCA, the Dominican Armada and SENPA, with which we are coordinating this effort,” said Domínguez.

The minister of Environment highlighted that foremost the public needs to come forth in support of the ban by not consuming these species and denouncing the stores and restaurants that sell them.

Dominguez acknowledged that thousands of fishermen make a living capturing these species, but he stressed the importance of the parrotfish for the wellbeing of coral reefs. “If we do not act now, we will end up destroying it all and then there will not be work for the fishermen, nor will there be ecosystems and we will not have a future if we continue in this direction,” he said.

The resolution instructs the Deputy Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources and that of Protected Areas and Biodiversity and the National Service for Environmental Protection (SENPA) in coordination with the Dominican Fishing and Aquaculture Council (CODOPESCA) and the Dominican Armada to enforce the ban.

Prior to the presentation, biologists Ruben Torres of Reef Check, Omar Shamir Reynoso of the National Authority on Marine Affairs (Anamar) and Yolanda Leon of Jaragua Group made presentations on the environmental situation in the Dominican Republic and the protection of marine species. Freddy Ginebra served as the master of ceremony.

In addition to Sir Richard Branson, among others present was the ambassador of the United Nations and executive director of We Are the Oceans (WATO) Paolo Zampolli.

Source:  DR1, Ambiento.gob.do

June 20, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated August 15, 2017 at 6:47 PM
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