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Senate backs Kerry bill to outlaw "shark finning"

December 20, 2010

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BOSTON—The U.S. Senate has backed a bill sponsored by Sen. John Kerry targeting the practice of catching sharks solely to remove their fins and dumping the rest of the fish overboard.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the bill is needed to protect sharks from massive population declines by outlawing the practice known as "shark finning."

The bill would prohibit any vessel from possessing shark fins without the corresponding carcass and requires that all sharks be landed with their fins attached.

The House passed the bill last year, but needs to take another vote because of what Kerry's office described as technical changes made by the Senate.

A spokeswoman said Kerry is hopeful the House will give the bill a final vote before they end the current session.