The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently proposed changes to the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 that would completely ban the practice of shark finning while at the same could actually lessen protection for sharks.
The problem is with some of the language about ‘preemption’ which would allow the federal government to actually overturn state laws regarding shark finning. There are ten states that have laws prohibiting the possession, distribution and trade of shark fins and many of these state laws are much more restrictive than the federal law. In essence, it could allow shark fishing in states where the practice has already been banned.
So why add this language under the Shark Conservation Act? Because despite having some of the best conservation laws, the U.S. is still a participant in the shark fin trade and this would open up more areas to shark fishing.
NOAA is currently collecting comments on the proposed rule before making a decision. If you’re interested in submitting your thoughts on the issue, you can do so through regulations.gov by clicking here or by using a form letter from the Pew Charitable Trusts or Oceana. The comment period is open until July 8.
To learn more:
- Listen to a short summary of the issue: US rules changes could see shark fishing return
- Check out this summary from Shark Savers
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