Press Release: Federal shark bill included in the National Defense Authorization Act


Today President Biden signed into law H.R. 7776, the “James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023,” which authorizes fiscal year 2023 appropriations for Department of Defense programs and military construction, Department of Energy national security programs, and Intelligence programs. It also includes legislation that will protect sharks, whales and coral reefs in US waters.

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Biden Signs Fisheries Protection into Law With the Omnibus Bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced today that the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Feinstein and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to phase out the use of harmful large mesh drift gillnets in federal waters, was included in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus government funding bill expected to be signed into law later this week.

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The Year of the Shark: December News

With your help, Shark Stewards has catalyzed considerable conservation success for sharks in the Congress with the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, regulating gear in Pacific fisheries, and passing global trade restrictions this year!

This month, the Congress made the penultimate step towards saving overfished shark populations and endangered sharks from extinction, by passing a bill that will ban the USA’s involvement in the global shark fin trade. 

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Congress Passes Shark Fin Sales Ban, Forwards to President Biden

To help save sharks from extinction, the United States just moved one step closer to protecting them from the global shark fin trade.  

On Thursday, the Senate approved language making the possession, sale and trade of shark fins illegal, with a few exceptions, and ban the trade of shark fins. The provision, HR 2811, which the House inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act and passed last week will go to President Biden for his signature.

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Ban Wire Leaders to Save Endangered Pacific Sharks

The 16th meeting of the WCPFC is taking place on 5-11 December in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and we are urging member states in attendance to fight for sharks and rays that are harvested in the Pacific.

Banning wire leaders and shark lines would reduce fishing mortality of oceanic whitetips by 40.5%, and that of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), another threatened species, by 30.8%, according to research cited in the WCPFC proposal.

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Victory for Sharks – 90 Species Protected

Sharks and Rays Receive Appendix II Listing at CITES-CoP19
We just made history protecting sharks at CoP19 in Panama by bringing Requiem sharks (including blue sharks), all hammerhead sharks, freshwater rays, and small guitarfish under protection from the international shark meat and fin trade.

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Over 90 Species of Sharks Protected at CITES

Yesterday history was made protecting sharks at the the 19th Coalition of the Parties at Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Panama where 184 governments and conservationist Parties convened to consider applying major trade protections for plants and animals in the wildlife trade.

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