The National Marine Fisheries Service implemented a regulation making it illegal for any federally regulated fishing vessel in the Pacific to possess shark fins without the entire shark carcass. Effective in March, the regulation will also prevent foreign vessels from landing fins in U.S. ports without their corresponding carcasses. The hope is that the regulation will prevent wasteful fishing practices - 95 to 99 percent of the shark (by weight) is discarded when only the fins are kept - and will simplify management of sharks. The U.S. ban is consistent with international agreements, including the United Nations' Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, the International Plan of Action for Sharks and the U.N.'s Agreement on Straddling Stocks and Highly Migratory Species. For more information, visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov.