Senate Introduces Bill to End Shark Finning in U.S on Earth Day | Oceana

Senate Introduces Bill to End Shark Finning in U.S on Earth Day

Press Release Date: September 30, 2009

Location: Washington


Anna Baxter | email:
Anna Baxter

Oceana and Mad Men star January Jones applaud Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for introducing the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 in the Senate today as we celebrate Earth Day.

January Jones, lead actress of the Emmy award-winning TV series Mad Men, is the new spokesperson for Oceana’s campaign to save sharks. “We should be scared for sharks,” said the Golden Globe nominee. “I hope people will join me in the fight to save sharks and our oceans.”

The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 would require all sharks caught in U.S. waters to be landed whole with their fins still attached. This would put an end to shark finning, the process of cutting off the fins and discarding the carcass at sea. Each year, tens of millions of sharks around the world are caught for their fins.

“Shark finning fueled by the foreign fin trade has led to serious population decline and disruption of our waters,” said U.S. Senator John Kerry. “We need much stronger solutions to end this illicit trade and current protections haven’t gotten the job done. We need to get serious.”

Landing sharks with their fins still attached allows for better enforcement and data collection in stock assessments and quota monitoring. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation (H.R. 81) in March 2009. Oceana now looks to the Senate for fast passage of this important piece of legislation.

“Finned friends, the finish line is finally in sight,” said Beth Lowell, federal policy director at Oceana. “Sharks have found a champion in Senator Kerry.”

The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 would also close a loophole that deals with the transfer of fins at sea as a way to get around current law. Additionally, the bill would allow the United States to take action against countries whose shark finning restrictions are not as strenuous.