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Reports to the Congress Pursuant to the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000

On December 21, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 (Public Law 196-557). Section 3 of the Shark Finning Prohibition Act amended the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) to prohibit any person under U.S. jurisdiction from: (i) engaging in the finning of sharks; (ii) possessing shark fins aboard a fishing vessel without the corresponding carcass; and (iii) landing shark fins without the corresponding carcass. In addition, Section 3 contains a rebuttable presumption that any shark fins landed from a fishing vessel or found on board a fishing vessel were taken, held, or landed in violation (of the Act) if the total weight of shark fins landed or found on board exceeds 5 percent of the total weight of shark carcasses landed or found on board. Section 9 of the Shark Finning Prohibition Act defines finning as the practice of taking a shark, removing the fin or fins from a shark, and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea.

The Shark Finning Prohibition Act requires the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to promulgate regulations to implement its prohibitions (Section 4), initiate discussion with other nations to develop international agreements on shark finning and data collection (Section 5) , provide Congress with annual reports describing efforts to carry out the Shark Finning Prohibition Act (Section 6), and establish research programs (Sections 7 and 8). This Report to the Congress fulfills the requirements of Section 6 and provides a description of NMFS activities relative to other sections of the Shark Finning Prohibition Act.

For additional information, please contact :

Debra Lambert
Domestic Fisheries Division
Office of Sustainable Fisheries (F/SF3)
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13403
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: (301) 713-2341
Fax: (301) 713-1193

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