Congress Pushes for True Shark Finning Ban
Washington, D.C. -- A recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has prompted Congress to introduce the "Shark Conservation Act of 2008."
This legislation would close loopholes exposed in the court decision by
improving existing laws, originally intended to prevent shark finning.
The Act would require sharks to be landed with their fins, improving
current laws that only require fins and carcasses to be landed in a
"When sharks are landed with their fins, it
facilitates better enforcement and data collection, which is essential
in stock assessments and quota monitoring," said Elizabeth Griffin,
marine wildlife scientist at Oceana.
circumvention, the new provisions would apply to all vessels, not just
fishing vessels. The bill also allows the U.S. to take actions against
countries that do not have shark finning restrictions that are at least
as strenuous as those in the U.S. This could include the prohibition of
imports of shark products from those countries, among other actions.
"Congress must take this critical step towards protecting sharks," said
Griffin. "U.S. leadership is necessary to protect global shark
Enactment of the Shark Conservation Act of 2008
would close the loopholes in the Shark Finning Prohibition Act and
would result in stronger protections for vulnerable and endangered
shark populations in the U.S. and around the world.
was introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Chairwoman
of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans of the House
Committee on Natural Resources. The Natural Resources Committee is
expected to consider the bill mid-April.
For more information about sharks and the threats facing their populations, please visit http://oceana.org/sharks.