Martin worked with the late national hero of the Marshall Islands, Tony De Brum, on making the Marshall Islands into a shark sanctuary. The Marshall Islands followed the example of Palau, creating an even larger sanctuary – with a full ban on commercial shark fishing. In 2016, Micronesia followed suit, and together these nations created the largest contiguous shark sanctuary on earth – an area larger than the continental United States. The Marshallese government rigorously enforces this ban, and other nations are following suit.
We get the question a lot – “Are there sharks in the Marshalls?”
The short answer is – “yes, lots, in fact we helped fight to protect them from the shark fin industry”. The reality is these sharks are mainly small reef sharks, which are timid and show no hostility towards larger animals like humans. To get a grasp on the vast and devastating effects of commercial shark fishing and brutal finning practices, the 2006 documentary “Shark Water” is informative, and its sequel “Shark Water: Extinction” is set for release in 2018.