The U.S. banned “finning”—a practice in which fishers cut the fins off sharks and dump the still-living animals overboard to die a slow, agonizing death—back in 2000, but the ban only extended to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a decade later, the Senate has finally voted to extend the ban to the Pacific.
Disappointingly, the bill does not ban the sale of shark fins in the U.S., which means that restaurants can still sell the deadly “delicacy” and thereby continue to fund the mutilation of sharks in less protected waters.
The bill now heads to the House, which has already passed similar legislation. Keep your fingers crossed that these “lame ducks” will rally to the rescue of maimed sharks in the waning days of their last session.
If pigs had fins, would the Senate throw them a lifeline too?
Written by Alisa Mullins