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Shark-free initiative sees increase in marina ranks

More marinas are joining the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative to help conserve the world’s imperiled shark populations, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

The organization said Wednesday that more than 70 marinas have joined the initiative in the last week by pledging to prohibit or discourage the killing and landing of sharks on their docks. There are more than 200 marinas participating worldwide, including 164 in the United States, 24 in Fiji and six in the Bahamas.

Organized as a cooperative by the Pegasus Foundation, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the Humane Society of the United States, the initiative aims to reduce shark mortality worldwide by discouraging the landing of sharks and encouraging the catch and release of sharks in sportfishing while rewarding forward-thinking marinas that participate in the program.

Other supporting organizations include the Mote Marine Laboratory, the Pew Environment Group, Fishpond Inc. and the Fisheries Conservation Foundation.

“Marinas are major players in the recreational fishing community and can help inform fishermen and reduce the number of sharks being killed by joining the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative and preventing dead sharks from being brought back to their docks,” managing director Luke Tipple said in a statement. "Marinas are key to the success of this initiative in the United States.”

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