The US Senate has passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act that would ban the buying and selling of shark fins and products containing shark fins in the country. The bill was passed as part of a broader piece of legislation, the US Innovation and Competition Act, and it will now head to the House before becoming law.
The act was first introduced in 2019, where it passed with strong bipartisan support but the Senate took no action at that time. Led by representatives Gregorio Sablan (D-MNI) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), the standalone act was reintroduced in April.
The act of shark finning and possession of shark fins aboard a vessel is currently prohibited in US waters under the 2010 Shark Conservation Act, but the law does not stop domestic trade. Shark fins sold in the country come from all over the world, including locations that have no ban on finning. After sharks are captured, fishermen will remove their fins and release them back into the ocean to die.
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