Pew is working for passage of the U.S. Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (S.850/H.R.81), which would completely prohibit the removal of shark fins at sea, close loopholes in the current finning law and promote shark conservation in other countries. H.R. 81, introduced by Representative Madeline Bordallo (Guam), passed the House of Representatives unanimously in 2009. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Senate version S.850 in 2009, which cleared the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting consideration by the full Senate.
Sharks caught in high-seas fisheries are among the ocean’s most vulnerable animals. There are no limits on the number that can be caught and no rules on what fishing is allowed and what is not. Due to overfishing and low reproductive rates, more than half of the shark species caught in high-seas fisheries are threatened or near threatened with extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In the second half of 2010, Pew will work at the United Nations and at regional fisheries management organizations to set scientific limits on the number of sharks that can be caught. All fishing nations must adopt and implement shark management plans to ensure the recovery of depleted shark populations and the restoration of the critical role they play in the ocean environment.
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