Shark finning bill introduced - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Shark finning bill introduced

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz hopes to close any loop holes in the laws surrounding the practice of catching sharks and removing their fins in the region. Following legislation passed in Hawaii and the CNMI, Cruz has introduced legislation that would outlaw the possession of shark fins locally.

He explained that the bill is designed to, "Prohibit the importation, the possession or the practice of shark finning. It would prohibit the storage and use of shark fins, so there'd be no more shark fin soup at the Chinese restaurants."

Brent Tibbats from the Department of Agriculture stresses why it's important to have a law the outlaws the trade and not just the practice, telling KUAM News, "If you make shark finning illegal, that law extends out to Guam's EEZ, which is out 200 miles, people can claim that the caught sharks outside of that and the fins were taken out of Guam's jurisdiction, so the law wouldn't apply. If you make the possession of the pieces of shark illegal, it doesn't matter where they were taken, the fact that you have them is illegal. So it kind of closes that loophole that may exist."

Tibbats adds the law could also protect Guam from becoming a hub for shark fins or being used as a route to get the product to Asian markets.

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