A Kiwi man's dream to establish a shark sanctuary the size of Mexico has been realised in the Cook Islands.
On December 12, the Cook Islands declared its 1997 million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) a sanctuary for sharks and rays - the largest in the world and with the toughest shark conservation regulations to date.
The sanctuary is the product of an 18-month grassroots campaign led by Auckland-born Stephen Lyon, a marine scientist and founder of the Rarotonga-based NGO the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative (PICI).
In a sign that the global movement to protect sharks is picking up steam, Honduras is declaring its waters to be a permanent sanctuary for the fish.
President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will sign the sanctuary bill into law on Friday on a visit to the island of Roatan, the country's top diving and snorkeling destination, his office said on Thursday. The move makes permanent a moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks that Honduras announced last year in a joint declaration with the Micronesian island of Palau.