Ban on shark fishing heads to Obama’s desk

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The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed the Shark Conservation Act, which previously passed the Senate.

The bill awaits President Barack Obama's signature.

The legislation ensures that the United States has a comprehensive fins-attached policy, making the practice of shark finning illegal in all U.S. waters.

"The Shark Conservation Act would once and for all end the practice of shark finning in U.S. waters and give the United States the credibility to persuade other nations and international fishery managers to follow suit," said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group, in a statement.

"Sharks are in serious trouble," he added. "An estimated 73 million are killed every year, primarily to support the global shark fin trade. Thirty percent of the world's species are threatened or near threatened with extinction. Some populations, such as scalloped hammerheads and dusky sharks along the Eastern U.S. coast, have plummeted by as much as 80 percent since the 1970s."