Shock over senseless and illegal killing of Tiger Shark in St. Eustatius

Help came too late to catch the shark, which was brought to shore

ORANJESTAD- Not only STENAPA, but many residents on the island have reacted with shock to what is described as the ‘senseless killing’ on Friday of a Shark of the Tiger Species, caught in Statia’s waters. 

“The St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) is deeply concerned and saddened by the events that unfolded on the afternoon of March 1, 2024, where a large tiger shark was illegally landed and subsequently died on the shores of St. Eustatius”, the Park Organization said on her Social Media pages. 

Stenapa points to the fact that the act contravenes the Wet grondslagen natuurbeheer- en bescherming BES, which has been in effect since July 15, 2023. “Under this legislation, all sharks and rays within our jurisdiction are afforded full protection due to their critical ecological roles and the alarming global decline in their populations over the past few decades. Despite the immediate response from STENAPA enforcement personnel upon notification, the timing did not allow for the prevention of this tragedy or for intervention from an enforcement perspective”. 

STENAPA also points to the fact that sharks play a pivotal role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems, help to keep marine life populations in balance, ensure healthy fisheries and the overall vitality of the oceans. 

“Moreover, the presence of these magnificent creatures in our waters is a cornerstone of our local tourism industry. Incidents like these not only harm our marine biodiversity but also tarnish the reputation of St. Eustatius as a premier destination for eco-tourism and marine conservation” according to STENAPA. 

Educate and engage

STEPANA finalizes by saying that in response to the regrettable event, STENAPA and the Public Entity of St Eustatius are committed to increasing their efforts to educate and engage with local stakeholders about the protected status of sharks and rays. 

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