Every year, an estimated 100 million sharks are killed by human activity. Hawaii dove in and became the first state in the US to enact a ban on shark fishing, on January 1st, 2022. Some exemptions from the law are in place and issued by the Department of Land and Resources. Our department is well aware of how important sharks are to maintain healthy marine ecosystems, said Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Brian Neilson in a statement. And we recognize their importance for native Hawaiian cultural practices and beliefs.