The US House of Representatives this week approved legislation that includes a ban on the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States, among other ocean conservation provisions.
The language was included as part of the fiscal year 2023 defense authorization bill, which is now scheduled for a Senate vote next week, followed by the president’s signature.
The legislation also provides the US government with more tools to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Beth Lowell, Oceana’s vice president for the United States, praised the House’s passage of the bill:
“Today, the House took an important step in passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes critical advancements in ocean conservation. This bill will finally remove the US from the devastating shark fin trade once and for all. The demand for shark fins is driving many shark populations toward extinction, with 73 million sharks killed for their fins every year. This bill will also help to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by giving the US more tools to take action against countries that fail to address these devastating and destructive practices in their fleets. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to pass this landmark, bipartisan package.”