Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 2 News List

COA bans whale shark hunting for rest of year

CNA , TAIPEI

Fishermen are banned from catching whale sharks until the end of the year as the number caught this year has already filled this year's quota of 60, officials said earlier this week.

According to officials of the Fisheries Administration under the Council of Agriculture (COA), local fishermen can no longer catch whale sharks in international waters through Dec. 31.

Violators face a sentence of up to three years in jail or a fine of up to NT$150,000 (US$4,620).

Fishermen will be banned from possessing, selling or disposing of whale sharks for the remainder of this year and are required to release any whale sharks they catch, whether alive or dead, the officials said.

The whale shark quota for next year is set at 45 and falls to 30 sharks in 2008, the officials added.

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