Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 5584

Does the U.S. Need to Stop the Domestic Shark Fin Trade?

Argument in favor

Shark finning is a barbaric practice and the U.S. needs to do what it can to stop it by making the sale or purchase of shark fins illegal.

Eric's Opinion
···
07/01/2016
Illegal activities will always persist on the black market, but this law will make it harder to do so. We have a responsibility to disincentive this non useful, wasteful practice.
Like (30)
Follow
Share
Justin's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
This practice, while not only being cruel and inhumane, leads to the eventual death of the organism. Which with expansive finning occurring globally will lead to a decreased measure of biodiversity and will eventually create a negative impact in the disastrous effects of climate change. Sharks are a higher order consumer that keep lower primary and secondary consumer levels at appropriate levels - allowing massive carbon sinks filled with diverse plant life to remain intact. Without sharks these carbon sinks wouldn't exist and all that carbon would end up in our atmosphere. Not to mention, how would you feel if you had a limb cut off, had no medical treatment after your amputation, and were thrown back into the world? Not very good.
Like (16)
Follow
Share
Lisa's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
The US should promote holistic environmental & animal protection policies, in line with recommendations from the United Nations in relation to migratory and endangered species. The US must be a leader in protecting and promoting biodiversity.
Like (9)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

If the U.S. tries to stop the shark fin trade by making it illegal to buy or sell fins, the trade will still persist by moving to the black market.

Loraki's Opinion
···
06/30/2016
While I personally think the practice of shark finning is disgusting, not to mention wasteful if the fin is all they're after, how are you going to enforce this law? Seems like it will become a black market issue! How will these exempted people have to prove that they are complying with the law? There would be an exemption for people who have a shark fin that was obtained legally under a state, territorial, or federal license as long as the fin is taken from the shark to be: Destroyed or discarded; Retained by the license holder and not sold; Used — but not sold — for subsistence purposes in compliance with state or territorial law; Used solely for display or research purposes by a museum, college, university, or other person granted a permit to conduct scientific research. You might want to keep in mind the "bigger picture"! This might be part of Obama's opening wedge to move the U.S. further into compliance with United Nations sustainability goals: The #UN starts toward new control over the world's #oceans [and further erosion of America's national sovereignty] [See document here: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/165/17/PDF/N1516517.pdf?OpenElement ] • One of the biggest backers of the preliminary talks is the Obama Administration. Even though the U.S. has never ratified the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention—the new talks are aimed at creating an “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea umbrella—the Administration is deeply involved in the negotiations, as are some of the world’s most powerful #environmental organizations. • The United Nations has launched a far-reaching initiative that could give U.N.-sponsored authorities sway over the biological resources of the high seas—all the waters that lie outside national territories and economic zones. • The potential shift in power involves multi-trillion-dollar issues, such as whether large areas—conceivably, as much as 30 percent-- of the world’s international waters should be designated as no-go areas to protect biological diversity; whether and how to require elaborate “environmental impact assessments” for future ocean development projects; and how to divide up the economic benefits from the future development of “marine genetic resources.” • Ocean bio-preservation is also one of the 17 nebulous Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by all the world’s governments, including the U.S. last September. That included “increased cooperation and coordination among states, international bodies, and relevant stakeholders to achieve better conservation and management of high seas resources,” not to mention “better management and planning for multiple uses and activities where they occur in areas beyond national jurisdiction.” • Many of the worst problems are in Pacific fisheries exploited by Asia, where the bigger issue is getting countries such as China and Korea to honor existing fisheries management organizations. • Ray Hilborn, an internationally known fisheries expert at the University of Washington in Seattle and co-author of a recent study that is the groundbreaking effort to estimate the historical extent of global fish stocks, told Fox News that while over-fishing is a serious issue, “in the a big picture, we are not close to calamity at all. Closed-off ocean areas, Hilborn says, “are the crudest possible tool for fishing management. All it does is move boats somewhere else.” • Some countries were arguing that all of the world’s undersea bio-heritage resources be considered the “common heritage of mankind,” a code term for a socialist-leaning vision of shared international ownership. • The Obama Administration has already anted up domestically on some of the big-ticket possibilities under discussion, with, among other things, its huge expansion by executive order in September 2014 of the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument in the central Pacific Ocean into a half-million-square-mile oceans preserve. • U.S. environmental groups are lobbying now for additional marine monument areas off the coast of New England, site of some of the U.S.’s most important Atlantic fisheries. • U.S.-based Pew Charitable Trusts is the organization lobbying most loudly for a 30 percent set-aside of the high seas for preservation purposes—“although not completely no-take, no-use areas,” according to Elizabeth Wilson, director of the non-profit organization’s international ocean policy program, who attended several days of the New York meeting. Pew has also been funding pilot projects for satellite observation of protected zones as an efficient means of supporting law enforcement in the vast reaches of ocean that would be involved, as well as financing research that offers backing for the preserve concept. By George Russell Published April 08, 2016 Eden Charles, a diplomat from Trinidad and Tobago who is serving as the chairman for a U.N. preparatory committee that began the discussions this week underlined to Fox News that the talks are at a “very, very preliminary stage.” Overall, the hoped-for treaty will cover “two-thirds of the oceans, almost half the planet,” says Lisa Speer, a senior official of the National Resources Defense Council (#NRDC), which is in turn a lead member of a squadron of 33 environmentalist groups banded together as the High Seas Alliance to lobby for protectionist measures during the talks. http://highseasalliance.org/ The rationale behind the discussions: easing the rising pressure on the world’s undersea #biodiversity wrought by over-fishing, #pollution, the drainage of nutrients and other substances from surrounding lands, disturbance of underwater seabeds, and fears of even greater threats from underwater industrial technology, including underwater exploration for hydrocarbons. FOR THE U.N. RESOLUTION MANDATING THE TREATY: http://www.foxnews.com/world/interactive/2016/04/07/prep-committee-on-marine-reserves-62015/ In U.N. terms, the discussions are proceeding at something like flank speed—that is, a lot slower than a melting iceberg bobbing in the north Atlantic. They began with the initial meeting on March 28 of the preparatory committee-- “prep-com” in U.N.-speak--of nations to discuss preliminary ideas until Friday, April 8. Another two-week prep-com session will take place in August, and two more next year. These are expected to result by the end of 2017 in draft language for a planned oceans treaty that could then be chewed over for another year or two in broader international sessions. The agreement that ensues from those discussions, however, is seen by some involved in its hoped-for creation as the salt-water equivalent of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which will be formally signed at an April 22 ceremony in New York—a global, permanent and legally-binding deal for the management of Earth’s last frontier, which will spawn further layers of regulation in years to come. “The climate negotiations showed the possibilities for us to come together,” Speer told Fox News. Like the climate treaty, the intended oceans treaty envisages transfers of marine technology and investment to developing nations as part of the deal , along with some still far-from-specified portion of the wealth derived from marine biological discoveries, including genetic breakthroughs. “One of the things we are looking at is how marine genetic resources will be conserved, sustainably used, and how the dividends will be shared,” says Speer. One of the biggest backers of the preliminary talks is the Obama Administration. Even though the U.S. has never ratified the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention—the new talks are aimed at creating an “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea umbrella—the Administration is deeply involved in the negotiations, as are some of the world’s most powerful environmental organizations. The U.S. also has a legal precedent for its involvement: its ratification in 1996 of another “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea Convention that orchestrated the activities of a variety of regional fisheries management organizations across international waters, allowed for international enforcement, and a variety of other measures. Ocean bio-preservation is also one of the 17 nebulous Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by all the world’s governments, including the U.S. last September. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ “The United States strongly supports conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources, both within and beyond national jurisdiction,” a State Department official told Fox News. That included “increased cooperation and coordination among states, international bodies, and relevant stakeholders to achieve better conservation and management of high seas resources,” not to mention “better management and planning for multiple uses and activities where they occur in areas beyond national jurisdiction.” The Administration has already anted up domestically on some of the big-ticket possibilities under discussion, with, among other things, its huge expansion by executive order in September 2014 of the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument in the central Pacific Ocean into a half-million-square-mile oceans preserve. U.S. environmental groups are lobbying now for additional marine monument areas off the coast of New England, site of some of the U.S.’s most important Atlantic fisheries. Such preserves—known as marine protected areas or #MPAs, in Law of the Sea jargon—are a major focus of attention for the U.S.-based #PewCharitableTrusts, which has been lobbying governments around the world for years to create them. So are environmental impact assessments, or #EIAs, which are a focus for the #HighSeasAlliance as well—a bid to create not only environmental protection standards but also public review processes that will give non-governmental environmentalists a greater voice in what would pass muster as acceptable future ocean resources development. Pew is the organization lobbying most loudly for a 30 percent set-aside of the high seas for preservation purposes—“although not completely no-take, no-use areas,” according to Elizabeth Wilson, director of the non-profit organization’s international ocean policy program, who attended several days of the New York meeting. Pew has also been funding pilot projects for satellite observation of protected zones as an efficient means of supporting law enforcement in the vast reaches of ocean that would be involved, as well as financing research that offers backing for the preserve concept. As the first prepcom session neared its end, Wilson said the diplomatic talks “had gotten a lot further into the details than we expected it to do at this stage,” and that “people were feeling pretty comfortable” with the concepts involved in the mammoth ocean discussions. Comfort with concepts, and agreement on terms, however, are still two greatly different things. Participants in the meeting were divided over such questions as whether a new accord would create a new international oceans authority to administer the exploitation of the world’s undersea biological resources, or whether ways could be found to expand existing authorities such as the regional fisheries management organizations and the International Seabed Authority, a U.N.-sponsored creation that is currently supposed to regulate undersea mining. One of the “most animated” areas of discussion, prep-com chairman Charles told Fox News, was how the rewards of the world’s undersea bio-heritage could be shared. “We do not yet have a legal code for their exploitation,” he declared. Some countries were arguing that all such resources be considered the “common heritage of mankind,” a code term for a socialist-leaning vision of shared international ownership. Other countries were emphasizing traditional “freedom of the seas,” which apparently would leave more room for private initiative. In the case of MPAs, he said, “some member states say we first need to take stock to determine if the need for an MPA is there,” while others “say not in all circumstances.” There is also conceptual disagreement on whether such protections always need to be permanent, he said. According to some scientific experts, there is also reason to question whether the undersea set-aside approach was really going to be all that effective in dealing with some of the world’s most pressing ocean problems, such as over-fishing. Ray Hilborn, an internationally known fisheries expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, is one of the skeptics. Co-author of a recent study that is the groundbreaking effort to estimate the historical extent of global fish stocks, he told Fox News that while over-fishing is a serious issue, “in the a big picture, we are not close to calamity at all.” The study he co-authored shows that “about 20 percent of the globe’s fish stocks are over-fished,” he said, and stocks of many of the major species that are commercially exploited “are in better shape than smaller fish stocks, essentially because they are better managed.” Many of the worst problems are in Pacific fisheries exploited by Asia, where the bigger issue is getting countries such as China and Korea to honor existing fisheries management organizations. While reforms of fisheries management are needed, the study says, “recovery can happen quickly, with the median fishery taking under 10 years to reach recovery targets.” Closed-off ocean areas, Hilborn says, “are the crudest possible tool for fishing management. All it does is move boats somewhere else.” George Russell is Editor-at-Large of Fox News. He is reachable on Twitter at @GeorgeRussell and on Facebook at Facebook.com/George.Russell http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/08/exclusive-un-starts-toward-new-control-over-worlds-oceans.html
Like (5)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
06/30/2016
As disgusting as this sounds, in the famous last words, "What difference does it make*." It's in the US law today as it was yesterday or the year before. So my QUESTION: How will/does this affect China, Taiwan, Vietnam or Indonesia? Are foreign Nations required to follow US Law? Taping foot, taping foot. Answer? I suggest some International Sea Treaty, but alas, we may already have a Treaty on this barbaric act. *Hillary
Like (3)
Follow
Share
Gabriel's Opinion
···
07/01/2016
I only vote nay because of the fact that buyers will move to the black market and there is no telling how much the industry will grow as a result. An opinion that I hold and have held is that the widespread opinion must change then legislation must change, not the other way around. The way to change end this completely is unforeseeable, but I do know that things like this can only be with a change of heart, not of legislation.
Like (3)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 5584?

This bill would make it illegal to possess, trade, distribute, sell, or purchase shark fins in the U.S. and also prohibit their import or export. It would also establish penalties for shark finning under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Under current law, shark finning — the practice of cutting off the fins of a shark to sell them as food — is illegal in U.S. waters and has been since 2000, though buying, selling, or possessing shark fins is allowed. After the fins are removed, oftentimes the shark is thrown back into the sea where it will drown, bleed to death, or be eaten by other ocean creatures.

There would be an exemption for people who have a shark fin that was obtained legally under a state, territorial, or federal license as long as the fin is taken from the shark to be:

  • Destroyed or discarded;

  • Retained by the license holder and not sold;

  • Used — but not sold — for subsistence purposes in compliance with state or territorial law;

  • Used solely for display or research purposes by a museum, college, university, or other person granted a permit to conduct scientific research.

Impact

Sharks; people who buy or sell shark fins; and the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5584

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Actor Morgan Freeman joined lawmakers and an advocacy group known as Oceana at a press conference announcing the introduction of this bill, and pushed for the legislation’s passage:

“Sharks are being killed for their fins, much like rhinos and elephants have been decimated due to the demand for their horns and tusks. While shark finning is banned in U.S. waters, we continue to buy, sell and trade shark fins throughout the country. By allowing the trade of shark fins within our borders, the U.S. continues to contribute to this global problem.”

This bill was introduced by the Northern Mariana Islands’ non-voting delegate in Congress, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, to help stop the global shark fin trade by taking the U.S. out of the market for shark fins. He also noted that the native cultures from his territory that traditionally hunt sharks aren’t part of the problem and that more respect should be shown to the creatures:

“Destroying millions of sharks simply for their fins is a wasteful practice that our indigenous Chamorro and Rafaluwasch cultures would never have allowed. We would have used as much of the shark as possible for food, tools, and other purposes. In addition, our ancestors understood and respected the role of the shark in preserving the health of the oceans.”

This legislation has nine bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including five Democrats and four Republicans.


Of Note: According to Oceana as many 73 million sharks have their fins removed in a given year, and several species that are frequent targets are considered to be vulnerable or endangered populations. Much of the demand for shark fins is driven by the consumption of shark fin soup, which is considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Flickr user nicwn)

AKA

Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016

Official Title

To prohibit the sale of shark fins, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Trade
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJune 24th, 2016
    Illegal activities will always persist on the black market, but this law will make it harder to do so. We have a responsibility to disincentive this non useful, wasteful practice.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    While I personally think the practice of shark finning is disgusting, not to mention wasteful if the fin is all they're after, how are you going to enforce this law? Seems like it will become a black market issue! How will these exempted people have to prove that they are complying with the law? There would be an exemption for people who have a shark fin that was obtained legally under a state, territorial, or federal license as long as the fin is taken from the shark to be: Destroyed or discarded; Retained by the license holder and not sold; Used — but not sold — for subsistence purposes in compliance with state or territorial law; Used solely for display or research purposes by a museum, college, university, or other person granted a permit to conduct scientific research. You might want to keep in mind the "bigger picture"! This might be part of Obama's opening wedge to move the U.S. further into compliance with United Nations sustainability goals: The #UN starts toward new control over the world's #oceans [and further erosion of America's national sovereignty] [See document here: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/165/17/PDF/N1516517.pdf?OpenElement ] • One of the biggest backers of the preliminary talks is the Obama Administration. Even though the U.S. has never ratified the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention—the new talks are aimed at creating an “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea umbrella—the Administration is deeply involved in the negotiations, as are some of the world’s most powerful #environmental organizations. • The United Nations has launched a far-reaching initiative that could give U.N.-sponsored authorities sway over the biological resources of the high seas—all the waters that lie outside national territories and economic zones. • The potential shift in power involves multi-trillion-dollar issues, such as whether large areas—conceivably, as much as 30 percent-- of the world’s international waters should be designated as no-go areas to protect biological diversity; whether and how to require elaborate “environmental impact assessments” for future ocean development projects; and how to divide up the economic benefits from the future development of “marine genetic resources.” • Ocean bio-preservation is also one of the 17 nebulous Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by all the world’s governments, including the U.S. last September. That included “increased cooperation and coordination among states, international bodies, and relevant stakeholders to achieve better conservation and management of high seas resources,” not to mention “better management and planning for multiple uses and activities where they occur in areas beyond national jurisdiction.” • Many of the worst problems are in Pacific fisheries exploited by Asia, where the bigger issue is getting countries such as China and Korea to honor existing fisheries management organizations. • Ray Hilborn, an internationally known fisheries expert at the University of Washington in Seattle and co-author of a recent study that is the groundbreaking effort to estimate the historical extent of global fish stocks, told Fox News that while over-fishing is a serious issue, “in the a big picture, we are not close to calamity at all. Closed-off ocean areas, Hilborn says, “are the crudest possible tool for fishing management. All it does is move boats somewhere else.” • Some countries were arguing that all of the world’s undersea bio-heritage resources be considered the “common heritage of mankind,” a code term for a socialist-leaning vision of shared international ownership. • The Obama Administration has already anted up domestically on some of the big-ticket possibilities under discussion, with, among other things, its huge expansion by executive order in September 2014 of the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument in the central Pacific Ocean into a half-million-square-mile oceans preserve. • U.S. environmental groups are lobbying now for additional marine monument areas off the coast of New England, site of some of the U.S.’s most important Atlantic fisheries. • U.S.-based Pew Charitable Trusts is the organization lobbying most loudly for a 30 percent set-aside of the high seas for preservation purposes—“although not completely no-take, no-use areas,” according to Elizabeth Wilson, director of the non-profit organization’s international ocean policy program, who attended several days of the New York meeting. Pew has also been funding pilot projects for satellite observation of protected zones as an efficient means of supporting law enforcement in the vast reaches of ocean that would be involved, as well as financing research that offers backing for the preserve concept. By George Russell Published April 08, 2016 Eden Charles, a diplomat from Trinidad and Tobago who is serving as the chairman for a U.N. preparatory committee that began the discussions this week underlined to Fox News that the talks are at a “very, very preliminary stage.” Overall, the hoped-for treaty will cover “two-thirds of the oceans, almost half the planet,” says Lisa Speer, a senior official of the National Resources Defense Council (#NRDC), which is in turn a lead member of a squadron of 33 environmentalist groups banded together as the High Seas Alliance to lobby for protectionist measures during the talks. http://highseasalliance.org/ The rationale behind the discussions: easing the rising pressure on the world’s undersea #biodiversity wrought by over-fishing, #pollution, the drainage of nutrients and other substances from surrounding lands, disturbance of underwater seabeds, and fears of even greater threats from underwater industrial technology, including underwater exploration for hydrocarbons. FOR THE U.N. RESOLUTION MANDATING THE TREATY: http://www.foxnews.com/world/interactive/2016/04/07/prep-committee-on-marine-reserves-62015/ In U.N. terms, the discussions are proceeding at something like flank speed—that is, a lot slower than a melting iceberg bobbing in the north Atlantic. They began with the initial meeting on March 28 of the preparatory committee-- “prep-com” in U.N.-speak--of nations to discuss preliminary ideas until Friday, April 8. Another two-week prep-com session will take place in August, and two more next year. These are expected to result by the end of 2017 in draft language for a planned oceans treaty that could then be chewed over for another year or two in broader international sessions. The agreement that ensues from those discussions, however, is seen by some involved in its hoped-for creation as the salt-water equivalent of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which will be formally signed at an April 22 ceremony in New York—a global, permanent and legally-binding deal for the management of Earth’s last frontier, which will spawn further layers of regulation in years to come. “The climate negotiations showed the possibilities for us to come together,” Speer told Fox News. Like the climate treaty, the intended oceans treaty envisages transfers of marine technology and investment to developing nations as part of the deal , along with some still far-from-specified portion of the wealth derived from marine biological discoveries, including genetic breakthroughs. “One of the things we are looking at is how marine genetic resources will be conserved, sustainably used, and how the dividends will be shared,” says Speer. One of the biggest backers of the preliminary talks is the Obama Administration. Even though the U.S. has never ratified the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention—the new talks are aimed at creating an “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea umbrella—the Administration is deeply involved in the negotiations, as are some of the world’s most powerful environmental organizations. The U.S. also has a legal precedent for its involvement: its ratification in 1996 of another “implementing agreement” under the Law of the Sea Convention that orchestrated the activities of a variety of regional fisheries management organizations across international waters, allowed for international enforcement, and a variety of other measures. Ocean bio-preservation is also one of the 17 nebulous Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by all the world’s governments, including the U.S. last September. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ “The United States strongly supports conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources, both within and beyond national jurisdiction,” a State Department official told Fox News. That included “increased cooperation and coordination among states, international bodies, and relevant stakeholders to achieve better conservation and management of high seas resources,” not to mention “better management and planning for multiple uses and activities where they occur in areas beyond national jurisdiction.” The Administration has already anted up domestically on some of the big-ticket possibilities under discussion, with, among other things, its huge expansion by executive order in September 2014 of the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument in the central Pacific Ocean into a half-million-square-mile oceans preserve. U.S. environmental groups are lobbying now for additional marine monument areas off the coast of New England, site of some of the U.S.’s most important Atlantic fisheries. Such preserves—known as marine protected areas or #MPAs, in Law of the Sea jargon—are a major focus of attention for the U.S.-based #PewCharitableTrusts, which has been lobbying governments around the world for years to create them. So are environmental impact assessments, or #EIAs, which are a focus for the #HighSeasAlliance as well—a bid to create not only environmental protection standards but also public review processes that will give non-governmental environmentalists a greater voice in what would pass muster as acceptable future ocean resources development. Pew is the organization lobbying most loudly for a 30 percent set-aside of the high seas for preservation purposes—“although not completely no-take, no-use areas,” according to Elizabeth Wilson, director of the non-profit organization’s international ocean policy program, who attended several days of the New York meeting. Pew has also been funding pilot projects for satellite observation of protected zones as an efficient means of supporting law enforcement in the vast reaches of ocean that would be involved, as well as financing research that offers backing for the preserve concept. As the first prepcom session neared its end, Wilson said the diplomatic talks “had gotten a lot further into the details than we expected it to do at this stage,” and that “people were feeling pretty comfortable” with the concepts involved in the mammoth ocean discussions. Comfort with concepts, and agreement on terms, however, are still two greatly different things. Participants in the meeting were divided over such questions as whether a new accord would create a new international oceans authority to administer the exploitation of the world’s undersea biological resources, or whether ways could be found to expand existing authorities such as the regional fisheries management organizations and the International Seabed Authority, a U.N.-sponsored creation that is currently supposed to regulate undersea mining. One of the “most animated” areas of discussion, prep-com chairman Charles told Fox News, was how the rewards of the world’s undersea bio-heritage could be shared. “We do not yet have a legal code for their exploitation,” he declared. Some countries were arguing that all such resources be considered the “common heritage of mankind,” a code term for a socialist-leaning vision of shared international ownership. Other countries were emphasizing traditional “freedom of the seas,” which apparently would leave more room for private initiative. In the case of MPAs, he said, “some member states say we first need to take stock to determine if the need for an MPA is there,” while others “say not in all circumstances.” There is also conceptual disagreement on whether such protections always need to be permanent, he said. According to some scientific experts, there is also reason to question whether the undersea set-aside approach was really going to be all that effective in dealing with some of the world’s most pressing ocean problems, such as over-fishing. Ray Hilborn, an internationally known fisheries expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, is one of the skeptics. Co-author of a recent study that is the groundbreaking effort to estimate the historical extent of global fish stocks, he told Fox News that while over-fishing is a serious issue, “in the a big picture, we are not close to calamity at all.” The study he co-authored shows that “about 20 percent of the globe’s fish stocks are over-fished,” he said, and stocks of many of the major species that are commercially exploited “are in better shape than smaller fish stocks, essentially because they are better managed.” Many of the worst problems are in Pacific fisheries exploited by Asia, where the bigger issue is getting countries such as China and Korea to honor existing fisheries management organizations. While reforms of fisheries management are needed, the study says, “recovery can happen quickly, with the median fishery taking under 10 years to reach recovery targets.” Closed-off ocean areas, Hilborn says, “are the crudest possible tool for fishing management. All it does is move boats somewhere else.” George Russell is Editor-at-Large of Fox News. He is reachable on Twitter at @GeorgeRussell and on Facebook at Facebook.com/George.Russell http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/08/exclusive-un-starts-toward-new-control-over-worlds-oceans.html
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This practice, while not only being cruel and inhumane, leads to the eventual death of the organism. Which with expansive finning occurring globally will lead to a decreased measure of biodiversity and will eventually create a negative impact in the disastrous effects of climate change. Sharks are a higher order consumer that keep lower primary and secondary consumer levels at appropriate levels - allowing massive carbon sinks filled with diverse plant life to remain intact. Without sharks these carbon sinks wouldn't exist and all that carbon would end up in our atmosphere. Not to mention, how would you feel if you had a limb cut off, had no medical treatment after your amputation, and were thrown back into the world? Not very good.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    The US should promote holistic environmental & animal protection policies, in line with recommendations from the United Nations in relation to migratory and endangered species. The US must be a leader in protecting and promoting biodiversity.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    The shark fin trade is extremely damaging for our planet and is cruel and barbaric. Please watch Racing Extinction to learn more.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    This will help protect an animal that is essential to a much broader ecosystem that effects humans on an everyday basis.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a disgusting practice that takes too many innocent lives for only one part of the creature. It is not fair and should not be allowed
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    I only vote nay because of the fact that buyers will move to the black market and there is no telling how much the industry will grow as a result. An opinion that I hold and have held is that the widespread opinion must change then legislation must change, not the other way around. The way to change end this completely is unforeseeable, but I do know that things like this can only be with a change of heart, not of legislation.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    As disgusting as this sounds, in the famous last words, "What difference does it make*." It's in the US law today as it was yesterday or the year before. So my QUESTION: How will/does this affect China, Taiwan, Vietnam or Indonesia? Are foreign Nations required to follow US Law? Taping foot, taping foot. Answer? I suggest some International Sea Treaty, but alas, we may already have a Treaty on this barbaric act. *Hillary
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Sharks play a vital role in the health of our oceans! The feed on the sick, dieing and the dead! And help keep the oceans clean! Shark fin soup has no medicinal value contrary to Chinese belief! Yes by all means it should be outlawed to catch and kill a shark solely for its fin!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    More ineffective regulations that will cost much more than it's worth.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    It's cruel
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The benefits are not worth the cost. This is an animal facing unnecessary suffering, and if we continue exploiting them we will soon have none left. In the face of a changing climate and a world where more and more species are becoming endangered, preservation must be a top priority.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Capturing and killing these animals at the rate we are is completely destroying the ocean's ecosystem. While these killers may move to the black market, the rate of killing wouldn't nearly be as high as it is while it's lawful.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    I care more about the economic wellbeing of people working in that industry than I do about the lives of sharks.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Are you joking why would they not.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    While the practice of shark-finning is abhorrent, there is little the government can do about it. Better left to third party charities to educate the public.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Shark finning has lead to over-fishing of sharks, and the drastic decrease in their population disrupts ecosystems— turning once vibrant parts of the ocean into wastelands. The shark fin trade needs to be stopped or at the very least regulated so we have protected breeding areas.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Even if the trade moves to the black market, the U.S. can be on record that we oppose this barbaric practice and hopefully, with enforcement, the practice will slow or be eradicated.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    This will only encourage the rise of a black market, which will hurt the economy.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE