Shark News


Calling all artists (amateur or professional): A nonprofit organization formed to to promote the arts in the New Jersey mid-state area is having a series of fund-raising events called "Sharks for the Arts." If you're interested in participating (by making a sharky artwork) or if you just wanna check 'em out, go to


Excellent news, and I believe Clinton signed this bill before the end of his term:
07Dec2000 USA: Congress Sends Bill Banning Shark Finning to President for Signature.
Conservationists Applaud Sweeping Congressional Action To Protect Sharks
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ - After a two-year fight to safeguard shark populations, the U.S. Senate today passed legislation to prohibit shark finning - the practice of slicing off a shark's fins and discarding its carcass at sea - in all U.S. waters. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the same legislation in November. The bill will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Leading conservation organizations were quick to commend the U.S. Congress for passing this landmark legislation that also seeks to address the problem internationally. "This truly bipartisan effort, led by Representative Cunningham (R-CA) in the House, the Senators Kerry (D-MA), Hollings (D-SC), and Snowe (R-ME) in the Senate, is critical to conserving vulnerable shark populations," commented Russell Dunn, Assistant Director of the Ocean Wildlife Campaign. "Without their leadership, the growing trade in shark fins would have posed an ever increasing threat to these animals."

"The vulnerability of sharks to overfishing and the massive mortality associated with finning made achieving a finning ban a top priority for the OWC and its member organizations," explained Dr. David Wilmot, OWC Director. Shark fins are the principal ingredients in shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy that can sell for as much as $100 a bowl. Each year, tens of thousands of sharks are killed just for their fins in the U.S. Pacific. In 1998, the number of sharks finned in the waters surrounding Hawaii topped 60,000. Because fins comprise only a small percentage of a shark's bodyweight, finning wastes 95 to 99 percent of each shark. Sharks are especially susceptible to overfishing because they generally grow slowly, mature late and produce a small number of young.

"By addressing this egregious waste, Congress has established a strong and consistent national shark policy and reasserted U.S. leadership in addressing global threats to these exceptionally vulnerable fish," remarked Sonja Fordham, shark fisheries specialist for the Center for Marine Conservation. Allowing finning in the Pacific was inconsistent with a number of U.S. fisheries policies and ran counter to the recommendations of several international fishery agreements, including the United Nations International Plan of Action for Sharks.

"We are ecstatic that the Congress has responded to the American public's outrage over finning," noted Dunn. "The fact that they were able to do so during a period of bitter partisanship clearly demonstrates Congress' intolerance of wasteful and destructive practices which threaten this nation's living marine resources," summarized Dunn.

The Ocean Wildlife Campaign is a coalition of the Center for Marine Conservation, National Audubon Society, National Coalition for Marine Conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Wildlife Fund. The OWC was created to tackle the complex challenge of conserving and restoring giant ocean fishes including sharks, swordfish, marlin, and tunas. The OWC is generously supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

SOURCE Ocean Wildlife Campaign -0-12/07/2000

/CONTACT: Carrie Collins, 202-537-9166, or Amy Bunch, 301-593-6960, both of Ocean Wildlife Campaign/.

Source: PR NEWSWIRE 07/12/2000

About this page: Nothing systematic--just an effort to report to my readers occasional shark-related events and news items with a focus on education and/or conservation (and some fun stuff <smile>). If you know of such an event or news item, please drop me a line. Be sure to include in your letter all the pertinent info that other shark fans will want to know, including where & when for events, source of news item, the URL, etc.

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