Bills to Protect Marine Species Advance in Senate

To protect some of the world’s most endangered marine species, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously approved two bills: the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (S 877) and the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S 906). 

Up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins alone. The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act would help shark populations and remove the United States from the global shark fin trade by prohibiting the sale and use of shark fins and shark fin products in this country. 

Large mesh driftnets, which can be a mile in length, indiscriminately kill or injure endangered and protected marine species such as sea turtles, sharks, and whales. The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act would remove this threat to marine mammals by prohibiting their use in federal waters off California’s coastline—the only place in the United States where such driftnets continue to be used.

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