The Caribbean boasts two new shark sanctuaries as the Cayman Islands and St. Maarten have declared their territorial waters closed to all commercial shark fishing.
The popular diving destinations on Wednesday announced protected areas for the endangered marine predators in St. Maarten along with officials from Pew Charitable Trusts and billionaire ocean advocate Richard Branson.
The two new sanctuaries cover some 49,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometres). Pew says they bring the global number of shark protected areas to 14. Half of them are now in Caribbean waters.
Branson applauded the two Caribbean governments and he encouraged all regional nations to follow suit to establish a Caribbean-wide shark sanctuary.
Grenada and Curacao have vowed to pass legislation to create shark sanctuaries in their waters.