Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 5461 (ih) To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to eliminate the wasteful and unsportsmanlike practice of shark finning. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 5461 (ih) To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to eliminate the wasteful and unsportsmanlike practice of shark finning. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.5461

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to 
  eliminate the wasteful and unsportsmanlike practice of shark finning.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Shark Finning Prohibition Act''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to eliminate shark-finning by addressing 
the problem comprehensively at both the national and international 
levels.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON REMOVING SHARK FIN AND DISCARDING SHARK CARCASS 
              AT SEA.

    Section 307(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1857(1)) is amended--
        (1) by striking ``or'' after the semicolon in subparagraph (N);
        (2) by striking ``section 302(j)(7)(A).'' in subparagraph (O) 
    and inserting ``section 302(j)(7)(A); or''; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(P)(i) to remove any of the fins of a shark (including 
        the tail) and discard the carcass of the shark at sea;
            ``(ii) to have custody, control, or possession of any such 
        fin aboard a fishing vessel without the corresponding carcass; 
        or
            ``(iii) to land any such fin without the corresponding 
        carcass.
    For purposes of subparagraph (P) there is a rebuttable presumption 
    that any shark fins landed from a fishing vessel or found on board 
    a fishing vessel were taken, held, or landed in violation of 
    subparagraph (P) if the total weight of shark fins landed or found 
    on board exceeds 5 percent of the total weight of shark carcasses 
    landed or found on board.''.

SEC. 4. REGULATIONS.

    No later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Commerce shall promulgate regulations implementing the 
provisions of section 3076(1)(P) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1857(1)(P)), as added by 
section 3 of this Act.

SEC. 5. INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS.

    The Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Secretary of State, 
shall--
        (1) initiate discussions as soon as possible for the purpose of 
    developing bilateral or multilateral agreements with other nations 
    for the prohibition on shark-finning;
        (2) initiate discussions as soon as possible with all foreign 
    governments which are engaged in, or which have persons or 
    companies engaged in shark-finning, for the purposes of--
            (A) collecting information on the nature and extent of 
        shark-finning by such persons and the landing or transshipment 
        of shark fins through foreign ports; and
            (B) entering into bilateral and multilateral treaties with 
        such countries to protect such species;
        (3) seek agreements calling for an international ban on shark-
    finning and other fishing practices adversely affecting these 
    species through the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture 
    Organization's Committee on Fisheries, and appropriate regional 
    fishery management bodies;
        (4) initiate the amendment of any existing international treaty 
    for the protection and conservation of species of sharks to which 
    the United States is a party in order to make such treaty 
    consistent with the purposes and policies of this section;
        (5) urge other governments involved in fishing for or 
    importation of shark or shark products to fulfill their obligations 
    to collect biological data, such as stock abundance and by-catch 
    levels, as well as trade data, on shark species as called for in 
    the 1995 Resolution on Cooperation with FAO with Regard to study on 
    the Status of Sharks and By-Catch of Shark Species; and
        (6) urge other governments to prepare and submit their 
    respective National Plan of Action for the Conservation and 
    Management of Sharks to the 2001 session of the FAO Committee on 
    Fisheries, as set forth in the International Plan of Action for the 
    Conservation and Management of Sharks.

SEC. 6. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of 
State, shall provide to Congress, by not later than 1 year after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, and every year thereafter, a report 
which--
        (1) includes a list that identifies nations whose vessels 
    conduct shark-finning and details the extent of the international 
    trade in shark fins, including estimates of value and information 
    on harvesting of shark fins, and landings or transshipment of shark 
    fins through foreign ports;
        (2) describes the efforts taken to carry out this Act, and 
    evaluates the progress of those efforts;
        (3) sets forth a plan of action to adopt international measures 
    for the conservation of sharks; and
        (4) includes recommendations for measures to ensure that United 
    States actions are consistent with national, international, and 
    regional obligations relating to shark populations, including those 
    listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered 
    Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

SEC. 7. RESEARCH.

    The Secretary of Commerce, subject to the availability of 
appropriations authorized by section 10, shall establish a research 
program for Pacific and Atlantic sharks to engage in the following data 
collection and research:
        (1) The collection of data to support stock assessments of 
    shark populations subject to incidental or directed harvesting by 
    commercial vessels, giving priority to species according to 
    vulnerability of the species to fishing gear and fishing mortality, 
    and its population status.
        (2) Research to identify fishing gear and practices that 
    prevent or minimize incidental catch of sharks in commercial and 
    recreational fishing.
        (3) Research on fishing methods that will ensure maximum 
    likelihood of survival of captured sharks after release.
        (4) Research on methods for releasing sharks from fishing gear 
    that minimize risk of injury to fishing vessel operators and crews.
        (5) Research on methods to maximize the utilization of, and 
    funding to develop the market for, sharks not taken in violation of 
    a fishing management plan approved under section 303 or section 
    307(1)(P) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
    Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1853, 1857(1)(P)).
        (6) Research on the nature and extent of the harvest of sharks 
    and shark fins by foreign fleets and the international trade in 
    shark fins and other shark products.

SEC. 8. WESTERN PACIFIC LONGLINE FISHERIES COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 
              PROGRAM.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service, in consultation with the 
Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, shall initiate a 
cooperative research program with the commercial longlining industry to 
carry out activities consistent with this Act, including research 
described in section 7 of this Act. The service may initiate such shark 
cooperative research programs upon the request of any other fishery 
management council.

SEC. 9. SHARK-FINNING DEFINED.

    In this Act, the term ``shark-finning'' means the taking of a 
shark, removing the fin or fins (whether or not including the tail) of 
a shark, and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea.

SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Commerce for fiscal years 2001 through 2005 such sums as are necessary 
to carry out this Act.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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