Earlier this month, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International issued a statement thanking Congresswoman Madeleine Bardallo (Guam) for introducing legislation that would close a loophole on shark finning. Bordallo re-introduced the Shark Conservation Act (HR 81) that closes a loophole that was supposed to be taken care of by last year's HR 5741 which stalled in the Senate until their session expired. The act now requires that all sharks taken in U.S. waters must have the fins naturally attached. The new legislation alters previous legislation that currently permits a vessel to transport fins that were obtained illegally as long as the sharks were not finned aboard that vessel. Patricia Forkan, president of Humane Society International, applauded Bordallo's actions.
"Each year, tens of millions of sharks worldwide have their fins cruelly cut off at sea and are then thrown back overboard to die a lingering, painful death."
"Shark finning threatens the survival of essential marine species, and we commend Congresswoman Bordallo for addressing this cruel and wasteful practice."
Shark finning was banned in the U.S. by the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000, but enforcement is complex and the loophole allows circumvention of the law. The Shark Conservation Act must still make its way through the halls of Congress and on to the Senate for final passage and implementation. To motivate your congressperson, you can make your voice heard through Oceana.org's Wavemakers web page which will forward your personal email to your elected representative.