On July 8th, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act (H.R. 5741) to strengthen the U.S. shark finning ban and encourage other countries to implement comparable regulations or face U.S. sanctions. Before reaching the House floor for a vote, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans amended the act to require the fins to be naturally attached to any shark landed within the United States and its territories. This is a major victory for sharks because the fins-on requirement would not only help enforcement of the finning ban, it would also assist in the identification of sharks, improving our understanding of shark populations.
Now the bill has moved on to the Senate and must be approved by majority before it can be enacted. The Senate version of the Shark Conservation Act (S. 3231) was introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) after the House vote, and the bill was then referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. We need your help to keep the momentum going! Please take a moment to write to your senators today. Visit NCMC’s web site <http://www.savethefish.org/action_items_shark_finning.htm> for instructions on contacting your senators and to view a sample letter.