Rules tightened on shark fin removal at sea

spiny dogfishInterstate regulators are tightening the restrictions on the last species of shark that can have its fins removed at sea in the U.S. Smooth dogfish are the only sharks from which American fishermen can remove fins at sea. Many other sharks can be hunted, but fins can’t be removed until processing on land. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Tuesday to approve a new rule that allows fishermen to bring smooth dogfish to land with fins removed, as long as their total retained catch is at least 25 percent smooth dogfish. Right now, they can bring ashore as many as they choose. The rule change would better incorporate the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 into management of the dogfish, staff with the fisheries commission said. The dogfish are harvested from Rhode Island to North Carolina, and are among the many shark species that fishermen bring to land in states from Maine to Texas. Sharks are also hunted for their meat, but their greatest value is in their fins, which are used to make shark fin soup. Read the rest here 17:33