- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2004

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The United States has proposed broad international measures to curb the slaughter of sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and encourage the study and preservation of threatened shark populations throughout the world.

The proposals were made Monday at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

“I think sharks have been abused over the last 10 years,” said William Hogarth, head of the National Marine Fisheries Service. “We haven’t managed sharks in a very sustainable manner.”

The U.S. proposals include a ban on the practice known as shark finning, as well as reduction of the number of fishing vessels that hunt sharks, collection of more data on shark populations and development of fishing nets that would not harm sharks.

Shark finning is the act of slicing off a shark’s fin and throwing the carcass overboard. Shark fins are a delicacy in Asian countries and command high prices. Shark fin soup sells for more than $100 in Singapore.

The United Nations says more than 100 million sharks are killed each year.

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