Re-introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bardallo (Guam), the Shark Conservation Act requires that all sharks taken in U.S. waters must have the fins naturally attached - Want the fins? Then you must take the whole animal.
Wait, you say! Isn't shark finning illegal in the U.S.? Well, yes and no. In Pacific waters, it is legal to transport fins as long as they were not finned aboard the vessel - a loophole that this legislation will close. The benefits of this legislation are two-fold:
- It will prevent shark finning in U.S. Pacific waters and possibly impact the practice outside of U.S. territorial jurisdiction.
- It will allow for better enforcement of existing regulations and improved management of the commercial fishing industry in the taking of sharks or shark-related products.
- A more subtle impact will be that boats will be financially pressured to reconsider the commercial value of taking sharks when they must fill hold space with the lower valued carcass along with the higher valued fins. This could in time, reduce the commercial take of sharks all together.
Let your voice be heard!