The Senate passed a landmark shark conservation bill Monday that would close loopholes that had allowed the lucrative shark fin trade to continue operations off the West Coast.Now we need to do something about the North Carolina Fishery.
The measure would require all vessels to land sharks with fins attached and would prevent nonfishing vessels from transporting fins without their carcasses. Cutting off a shark's fins and then dumping its body overboard, which is now banned off the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico but not in the Pacific, has expanded worldwide because of a rising demand for shark's fin soup in Asia.
The Senate bill does include one exemption from the shark finning ban, for the smooth dogfish shark fishery off the North Carolina coast, to win the support of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
UPDATE: The bill passed the House yesterday.