Marshall Islands. Following the November 2011
parliamentary elections, the new parliament, Nitijela,
gathered in early January. According to
countryaah, the 33 members then elected a new
president. Senator Christopher Loeak won over incumbent
President Jurelang Zedkaia by 21 votes to 11. Loeak had been
in Parliament since 1985 and held several ministerial posts
in previous governments. Donald Capelle was elected as the
new President of Parliament. A few days later, President
Loeak presented his government. One of the ten new ministers
was a woman and she had to take care of education issues.
At the end of 2011, the Marshall Islands imposed a total
ban on shark fishing and trade in shark in the country.
Already in February 2012, the police had confiscated
thousands of kilos of hawk carcasses, skins and fins. The
shark fins are sought after by some fishermen because in
Asia they are seen as a delicacy and thus bring in large
sums. A Japanese vessel stopped by Micronesian police had
over 750 kilos of shark fins and 30 tons of shark carcasses
on board. Those responsible for the ship were fined $
125,000 under the new law.