Jan 14, 2011
President Obama Signs Shark Protection Law
Last month, WSPA asked supporters to sign a petition requesting the U.S. Senate’s support for bill S. 850, the Shark Conservation Act of 2009. And, they listened – the bill passed the Senate on December 20 by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4.
This law will close existing loopholes that permitted the inhumane practice of shark finning in U.S. waters. Shark finning is an extremely cruel and inhumane practice in which fishermen catch sharks, cut off their fins and throw the still-living animals back into the water. The finless sharks sink to the ocean floor where they die slow and horrifically painful deaths. An estimated 100 million sharks die this way each year, worldwide, primarily to support the demand for shark fin soup.
The bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 81) by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordello (D - GU) and passed the House in March 2009. In April 2009, Senator John Kerry introduced the companion bill, S. 850, which had been awaiting Senate action until this past December.
Thanks to the more than 30,000 supporters that signed WSPA’s petition, this bill will protect millions of sharks every year from slow and painful deaths at sea.