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French move boosts shark sanctuaries

December 09, 2012
"At more than 4.7 million square kilometres (1.5 million square miles) of ocean, this designation doubles the size of the area already protected by all six existing shark sanctuaries,"
- Josh Reichert, head of the Pew Environment Group

Green campaigners on Friday hailed a decision by France that they said would create the world's biggest shark sanctuary.

On Monday, the government of French Polynesia included the mako, the last shark that was not protected in its waters, on the list of fish banned from capture or trade in its vast territorial zone in the South Pacific.

The move was announced on Thursday at the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Manila, where nations also agreed to take steps to protect whale sharks from tuna nets.

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