The House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 81) yesterday. This bill would require sharks to be landed with their fins still naturally attached, which allows for better enforcement and data collection in stock assessments and quota monitoring.
Below is a statement from Beth Lowell, federal policy director at Oceana, an international marine conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world's oceans.
Oceana applauds Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 yesterday. This vote shows the importance of oceans and the environment to the 111th Congress.
The Shark Conservation Act will improve existing laws that were originally intended to prevent shark finning. This legislation will also allow the U.S. to take action against countries whose shark finning restrictions are not as strenuous, labeling the U.S. as a continued international leader in shark conservation.
Oceana now looks to the Senate for fast action to enact the Shark Conservation Act into law. It is time for the U.S. to end shark finning once and for all.
Tens of millions of sharks are caught globally for just their fins each year. During the finning process, sharks are typically hauled up on deck, their fins sliced off and the animals thrown back to sea, often still alive.
Congresswoman Bordallo (D-Guam), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the House Committee on Natural Resources, introduced the same bill in the 110th Congress. The bill passed the House of Representatives last July.
For more information about Oceana's campaign to safeguard sharks, please visit www.oceana.org/sharks.