Requests from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Humane Society International, Delegate Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, and Hawaii State Senator Clayton Hee have resulted in an extension of the comment period for the proposed federal rule that would overturn the state and territory shark fin trade bans. The new deadline is July 31.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a rule implementing the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 that, if approved as is, has the potential to overturn the shark protections passed by California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Washington state, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
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The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 closed loopholes in the previous U.S. shark finning law by requiring that sharks be landed at port with their fins naturally attached to their bodies. To further protect sharks, some states and territories passed additional legislation. In most locations, these measures ban the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins. Implementing the provisions of the Shark Conservation Act should not be used to overturn state laws that are more protective than federal law.