The practice of shark finning — removing a shark’s dorsal fin and discarding the animal’s body back into the water — has been in the political spotlight in recent months.
A new state law took effect this month that increases penalties for those caught engaging in the practice, and a bill to ban the shark fin trade is currently being considered in Congress. That measure has the backing of eight co-sponsors from Florida.
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, a study finds that banning the sale of shark fins in the U.S. wouldn’t actually help save sharks. The author of that study is the senior scientist and director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research, Dr. Robert Hueter.
Hueter joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about his recently published study in the scientific journal Marine Policy. He also talks about Mote's ongoing series of studies exploring whether or not sharks survive after being caught and released. The conversation begins with a look at the growing effort to ban the practice of shark finning.