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Senate Bill Targets Shark Fin Trade

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - A bill filed in the state Senate would crack down on the sale and possession of shark fins and shark tails which are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.

The measure, filed by Sen. Travis Hutson, would make it a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida to trade or offer for sale shark fins or shark tails. Commercial and recreational fishers found in violation would face a suspension or loss of their licenses or permits.

The bill says sharks are critical to the health of the ocean's ecosystems and calls Florida a market for shark fins.

"The practice of shark finning, where a shark is caught, its fins cut off, and the animal dumped back into the water to starve to death, drown from lack of oxygen that would otherwise be forced through its gills from constant movement, or be slowly be eaten by other fish is a cruel practice that causes tens of millions of sharks to die each year," the bill says.

A similar measure in 2014 got through three Senate committees but was never heard on the floor.

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