8 May 2003

Palau holds shark fin burning ceremony

7:28 am on 8 May 2003

Authorities in Palau have burned a petrol-doused pile of shark fins seized from a Taiwanese vessel fishing illegally in Palau's waters.

President Tommy Remengesau told a ceremony at the bonfire that Palau would not tolerate shark finning.

He says the fire is also to show the Palau congress that laws need to be improved to protect sharks which are vital for a balanced eco-system.

Palau allows licensed foreign vessels to fish for species such as tuna but sharks may not be targetted.

The practice is also banned in the US and Australia but environmentalists say shark fins are being sold in Hong Kong for 400 US dollars a kilo.