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Public Statements

Senate Passes Kerry Legislation to End Shark Fin Trade

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to end the brutal practice of shark finning in the United States. The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 strengthens existing regulations and closes enforcement loopholes, making shark fin removal illegal both on land and at sea.

"Shark finning has fueled massive population declines and irreversible disruption of our oceans," said Sen. Kerry. "Finally we've come through with a tough approach to tackle this serious threat to our marine life."

In 2009 and 2010, Sen. Kerry partnered with the Discovery Channel to sponsor "Shark Week" in an effort bring awareness to the illegal practice of shark finning and to promote global shark conservation.

The Shark Conservation Act of 2009:

* eliminates an enforcement loophole related to the transport of shark fins by prohibiting any vessel from having custody, control, or possession of shark fins without the corresponding carcass;

* eliminates an enforcement loophole related to the transport of shark fins by prohibiting any vessel from having custody, control, or possession of shark fins without the corresponding carcass;

* strengthens enforcement by deleting the rebuttable presumption that any shark fins landed were taken, held, or landed in violation of the law if the total weight of shark fins landed or found on board exceeds five percent of the total weight of shark carcasses;

* specifies that all sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached;

* amends the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act to allow the Secretary of Commerce to identify and list nations that have fishing vessels that have not adopted a regulatory program for the conservation of sharks that is similar to the U.S.; and

* promotes the conservation of sharks internationally and provides a more equal playing field for U.S. fishermen.


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