Palau increases shark feeding penalties

A new law provides for stricter penalties for anyone convicted of shark feeding in Koror State in Palau.

The Koror Sate Legislature (KSL) found that within the past year, there have been at least two reported shark attacks on dive tour guides resulting from feeding of sharks at Ngermeaus.

In addition to increased fines, anyone convicted of violating the ban on shark feeding can be sentenced to up to three months in prison for a first offense.

For subsequent offenses, the law stipulates that jail time must be imposed and exceed previous jail sentences.

In December, CDNN reported that Palau banned shark feeding following the establishment of a shark santuary in Palau’s entire Exclusive Economic Zone.

To date, shark feeding has been banned in Florida, Maui, the Maldives, the Red Sea, Hawaii and the Cayman Islands.

Shark diving

There are many popular shark diving destinations where eco-friendly scuba divers can enjoy natural encounters with sharks that have not been manipulated and provoked by shark feeders to perform for tourists. That’s good.

Conversely, there are a number of dive operators attempting to cash in on the popularity of shark diving by selling “guaranteed encounters” with sharks they manipulate with food to perform for thrill-seeking tourists. That’s bad.

As a safety precaution, divers are advised to avoid scuba diving altogether in the Bahamas, Roatan, Fiji and other destinations where authorities have failed to ban shark feeding, which is bad for both sharks and people.