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Congress Passes The Shark Conservation Act
By Matt J. Weiss, November 17, 2009 @ 08:12 PM (EST)

Good news for sharks in the U.S., The Shark Conservation Act introduced by Senator Kerry was passed on November 19th. This is a great gesture, and will certainly help, but its really a small blow to giant, largely unenforced shark finning industry.  At any rate, way to go Senator Kerry, really great its getting noticed in congress. Here is what Oceana worte about it. 

Oceana.org

Oceana commends the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today for passing the Shark Conservation Act of 2009.

“Shark management in the U.S. has suffered for long enough,” said Beth Lowell, federal policy director at Oceana. “It’s time to enact this shark finning bill into law.”

The Act would require all sharks caught in U.S. waters to be landed whole with their fins still attached. This would put an end to shark finning, the wasteful process of cutting off the fins and discarding the carcass at sea.

Landing sharks with their fins still attached allows for better enforcement and data collection for stock assessments and quota monitoring. The Act would also close a loophole that allows the transfer of fins at sea as a way to get around current law. Additionally, the bill would allow the United States to take action against countries whose shark finning restrictions are not as strenuous.

“Finning is threatening shark populations worldwide,” said Elizabeth Griffin, marine scientist at Oceana. “The U.S. should be a leader in helping to solve the problem of shark finning.”

The Act was introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in April. Similar legislation (H.R. 81), introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), passed the House of Representatives in March

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