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Congress Approves Shark Fin Trade Bill To Limit Threat To Marine Life

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WASHINGTON — Congress has approved a bill to limit the lucrative trade in shark fins, especially off the West Coast, as demand rises for shark fin soup in Asia and other parts of the world.

The bill, approved this week by the House and Senate, would require all vessels to land sharks with fins attached and prevent nonfishing vessels from transporting shark fins without their carcasses. Rising demand for shark fin soup, a delicacy in many cultures, has led to an increase in removal of shark fins, with the bodies dumped overboard.

Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said the bill would tackle what he called a serious threat to marine life. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed worldwide each year, primarily to support the global shark fin trade.

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