A bill backed by ocean conservation groups, as well as celebrities like “True Blood’s” Kristin Bauer, has passed the Senate and House and will now head to President Obama’s desk for a signature.
The “Shark Conservation Act of 2009″ outlaws shark “finning” for shark fin soup and would require the federal officials to work with nations that don’t similarly protect sharks.
“Shark finning has fueled massive population declines and irreversible disruption of our oceans,” said Senator John Kerry, who championed the bill.
“Finally we’ve come through with a tough approach to tackle this serious threat to our marine life,” he added.
An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins — leading to a population decline as damaging as 90% for some species. Oceana, which fought heavily for the bill, was quite pleased with the passage. “The Shark Conservation Act has finally passed the finish line. Oceana applauds Congress and its ocean heroes for passing such an important piece of legislation. Sharks now have a reason to celebrate this holiday season,” rep Beth Lowell said.