Photo: U.S. bans shark finning
A from the Wildlife Conservation Society shows a finned shark caught during a New York Seascape study in Delaware Bay. The photo shows where the dorsal and pectoral fins were removed. The female sand tiger shark had no anal fins, and most of its tail fin had been removed. Shark finning – the practice of cutting the fins off of a live shark and returning the crippled animal to the water to die – is illegal in the United States. There is no way to tell when the shark in this photo was finned, or how long it would live. Photo ©WCS
In early January the U.S. Senate passed the Shark Conservation Act, legislation that bans shark finning in U.S. waters.
The act closed loopholes that permitted the “finning” of certain sharks in U.S. waters—specifically large-bodied, small-finned sharks. Most shark finning in off U.S. costs had previously been banned under the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000.
The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 allows finning in only North Carolina’s dogfish fishery, a demand by Senator Richard Burr.
Shark finning is the practice where the fins are cut off living sharks, which are then left to die. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in parts of Asia.
But finning has taken a heavy toll on shark populations. By one estimate, up to 73 million are killed every year to support the trade. 30 percent of the world’s shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction.