Shark finning draws many to hearing - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Shark finning draws many to hearing

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - It was a full house at the Guam Legislature on Tuesday night as a public hearing was held on a bill that would ban the trade or sale locally of shark fins or ray parts. Several students testified in support of Bill 44, while others like Talofofo resident John Ray Aguon says as a fisherman and a man who practices culture, he would hate to see his rights be taken away.  

"I love the shark. I will protect the shark. I'm not a destroyer or a shark killer," Aguon announced. "Ladies and gentlemen, let's get more educated. Some of these people in here haven't even tasted shark. How can you tell me that killing sharks is bad when it's making me and my family alive today? Not for selling, but for eating it."

The bill would prohibit the possession, sale, offering for sale, trading or distribution of shark fins and ray parts. Federal prosecutor Karen Johnson testified in her personal capacity, saying she supports this bill, noting, "You need a Guam law that would enable you to place your conservation officers down at the Port, enforcing this law. I think you will see some results. From a personal view, it dismays me. I come from a family who hunts and fishes for generations. The idea that you would kill an animal and not use all of it, and not eat all of its meat is shocking to me."

Johnson, however, questioned whether fines would be paid to the Department of Agriculture's Aquatics and Wildlife Resources Division to ensure correct enforcement of this law.

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