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Dec 212010

From Green Right Now Reports

Sharks will be protected from the wasteful, inhumane practice of shark-finning in U.S. waters with the U.S. House passage today of the Shark Conservation Act.

Sharks will be protected from shark-finning in U.S. under the Shark Conservation Act. (Photo: Carlos Suarez, Oceana.)

The bill, which the Senate passed yesterday, will strongly discourage “finning” by requiring that fishing boats bring sharks to land whole. It also will forbid the transfer of fins at sea by U.S. fishing vessels.

Oceana’s federal policy director Beth Lowell, praised Congress for getting to the measure before adjourning, saying that the U.S. is showing leadership in protecting oceans.

Oceana applauds Congress and its ocean heroes for passing such an important piece of legislation,” said Lowell, who called out sponsors Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Congresswomen Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam).

The Shark Conservation Act improves prior legislation intended to help shark populations and allows the U.S. to take action against countries that remain lax on the issue.

Each year millions of sharks are killed just for their fins, a practice that has devastated shark populations around the world, and rippled through ecosystems, which need top predators to remain healthy.

“2010 may mark a turning point for shark conservation,” Lowell said in a statement. “Today’s decision builds on measures put into place last month to protect several shark species in the Atlantic Ocean, including oceanic whitetips, which have declined by more than 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the state of Hawaii has outlawed the sale of shark fin soup.”

Sep 292009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

January Jones, star of the Mad Men TV series and an ocean advocate, went to Washington this week to lobby for the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 and stronger US leadership for saving the ocean’s top predators.

January Jones (Photo: American Movie Classics)

January Jones (Photo: American Movie Classics)

“We should be scared FOR sharks, not of them,” said the Golden Globe nominee. “The survival of sharks and the health of our oceans depend on it.”

Jones met with various members of Congress, including Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The actress, best known for her role as Betty Draper in the critically acclaimed Mad Men series on the American Movie Channel, became a spokesman for Oceana’s Save Sharks campaign earlier this year.

Sharks have survived in the oceans since the age of the dinosaur, but today some species are nearly extinct due to overfishing and killing some sharks just for their fins, Oceana reports. As the ocean’s top predators, they play a critical role in keeping ecosystems healthy; their decline is causing potentially irreversible changes in the make up of the seas.

The Shark Conservation Act would outlaw shark “finning,” in which the animals fin is sheared off at sea with the body discarded. The law would require that all shark brought in to land would be whole.

The Act was introduced by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in April. A similar measure introduced by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), passed the House of Representatives in March.

For more on sharks and why their survival matters see the Oceana website. There you can also find out about Ms. Jones’ recent trip to swim with sharks (no, that’s not the same as the Washington tour).

Copyright © 2009 Green Right Now | Distributed by Noofangle Media