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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-740

======================================================================



 
                     SHARK CONSERVATION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

  July 8, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 5741]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 5741) to amend the High Seas Driftnet Fishing 
Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act to improve the conservation of 
sharks, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Shark Conservation Act of 2008''.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF HIGH SEAS DRIFTNET FISHING MORATORIUM PROTECTION 
                    ACT.

  Section 610(a) of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium 
Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1826k(a)) is amended--
          (1) by striking so much as precedes paragraph (1) and 
        inserting the following:
  ``(a) Identification.--The Secretary shall identify, and list in the 
report under section 607--
          ``(1) a nation if--'';
          (2) in paragraph (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and 
        (B) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively;
          (3) by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (3) as 
        subparagraphs (A) through (C), respectively;
          (4) by moving subparagraphs (A) through (C) (as so 
        redesignated) 2 ems to the right;
          (5) in subparagraph (C) (as so redesignated) by striking the 
        period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and
          (6) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(2) a nation if--
                  ``(A) fishing vessels of that nation are engaged, or 
                have been engaged during the preceding calendar year, 
                in fishing activities or practices that target or 
                incidentally catch sharks; and
                  ``(B) the nation has not adopted a regulatory program 
                to provide for the conservation of sharks, including 
                measures to prohibit removal of any of the fins of a 
                shark (including the tail) and discarding the carcass 
                of the shark at sea, that is comparable to that of the 
                United States, taking into account different 
                conditions.''.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND 
                    MANAGEMENT ACT.

  Section 307(1) of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1857(1)) is amended--
          (1) by amending subparagraph (P) to read as follows:
                  ``(P)(i) to remove any of the fins of a shark 
                (including the tail) at sea;
                  ``(ii) to have custody, control, or possession of any 
                shark fin aboard a fishing vessel unless it is 
                naturally attached to the corresponding carcass;
                  ``(iii) to transfer any shark fin from one vessel to 
                another vessel at sea, or to receive any shark fin in 
                such transfer, without the fin naturally attached to 
                the corresponding carcass; or
                  ``(iv) to land any shark fin that is not naturally 
                attached to the corresponding carcass, or to land any 
                shark carcass without the fins (including the tail) 
                naturally attached;''; and
          (2) by striking the matter following subparagraph (R).

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 5741 is to amend the High Seas Driftnet 
Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act to improve the 
conservation of sharks.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Sharks are long-lived apex predators with a life history 
strategy featuring slow growth, delayed maturation, long 
gestation, and the production of few young, making them 
particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure. Sharks have been 
increasingly exploited in recent decades, both as bycatch in 
the pelagic longline fisheries from the 1960s onward, and as 
targets in direct fisheries that expanded rapidly in the 1980s. 
As a result, scalloped hammerhead, white, and thresher sharks 
are each estimated to have declined by over 75% in the past 15 
years.\1\ Globally, large predator species such as sharks are 
estimated to have declined by as much as 90%.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Baum, Julia K. et al., Collapse and Conservation of Shark 
Populations in the Northwest Atlantic, Science, April 15, 2008.
    \2\Meyer, RA and Boris Worm. Nature, May 15, 2003, pp. 280-283.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Removing these top predators drastically changes the marine 
food web structure, diversity and ecosystem health. The 
practice of shark finning--which is driving much of this 
decline--is fueled by the shark fin trade, which in turn is 
driven by rapid economic growth in Asia. Reducing shark finning 
is imperative to conserving sharks and the marine ecosystems of 
which they are a part.
    Congress enacted the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 
to prohibit U.S. fishermen from removing the fins of sharks and 
discarding the carcass at sea (known as finning), and from 
landing or transporting shark fins without the corresponding 
carcass. Since the passage of the U.S. law, many other 
countries and regional fisheries management organizations have 
adopted similar bans. Recent developments with respect to 
application of the U.S. law, however, as well as the 
ineffectiveness of some international efforts, led to the 
introduction of the Shark Conservation Act of 2008 to further 
bolster the conservation of these important predator species.
    As originally introduced in 2000, the U.S. prohibition only 
banned the practice of shark finning, but during consideration 
of the bill it became clear that the Committee was very 
concerned with the possibility that vessels could circumvent a 
ban by going to the high seas and buying fins and then 
transporting them ashore or to other vessels.
    On April 13, 2000, during the legislative hearing of the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans on this Act, 
Congressman Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (D-AS) expressed this 
concern, stating, ``Many shark fins never make it to port, but 
are transshipped at sea to foreign fishing vessels. The volume 
and value of these transshipments are poorly documented * * * I 
am forced to ask: How are we ever going to eliminate the 
practice of shark finning if we allow transshipments to take 
place under our noses * * *?'' During the May 8, 2000 
Subcommittee markup, Congressman Faleomavaega successfully 
offered an amendment to address the transshipment concern by 
prohibiting the custody, control, or possession of shark fins 
on fishing vessels or the landing of shark fins without the 
corresponding carcass by any vessel. With this amendment, the 
Committee assumed that finning, as well as transshipment would 
be successfully prohibited.
    In particular, the Committee believed that the concerns 
regarding transshipment had been addressed based on the 
definition of fishing vessel found in the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson). Because the 
Shark Finning Prohibition Act was an amendment to the 
prohibited acts section of Magnuson, the definitions in 
Magnuson applied to the prohibitions in the bill. Specifically, 
Magnuson defines a fishing vessel as `` any vessel, boat, ship, 
or other craft which is used for, equipped to be used for, or 
of a type which is normally used for--(A) fishing; or (B) 
aiding or assisting one or more vessels at sea in the 
performance of any activity relating to fishing, including, but 
not limited to, preparation, supply, storage, refrigeration, 
transportation, or processing.'' (emphasis added) Recent events 
have made further changes to the law necessary to ensure that 
the transport vessels, which Congress thought it had 
encompassed in 2000 are, in fact, subject to the law.
    The Shark Conservation Act of 2008 includes several 
measures to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of 
the Shark Finning Prohibition Act and to confirm the original 
intent of Congress to prevent shark finning and the 
transshipment and landing of shark fins without carcasses.
    First, the bill would eliminate an enforcement loophole 
related to the transport of shark fins by prohibiting the 
transfer of shark fins from one vessel to another at sea 
without the corresponding carcass. This loophole was brought to 
light when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a U.S. 
vessel, which had purchased fins from several fishing vessels 
engaged in finning on the high seas to transport them to 
Guatemala, was not considered a fishing vessel under the 
definition of such vessels found in Magnuson (despite what 
Congress had assumed when they passed the bill in 2000) and 
therefore not subject to the prohibition on transporting fins 
without the corresponding carcasses. H.R. 5741, therefore, adds 
the new prohibition regarding the transfer of fins from one 
vessel to another at sea without the corresponding carcass. 
This would preclude a vessel from circumventing the ban on 
finning by going out and purchasing the illegally harvested 
fins on the high seas and then transporting them back to U.S. 
ports or elsewhere. It would not preclude container vessels or 
other vessels from transporting fins that were harvested 
legally and then brought to shore.
    Second, the bill would address the difficulty that has 
become apparent in enforcing the statute's percentage-based 
standard. It would delete the rebuttable presumption that any 
shark fins landed were taken, held, or landed in violation of 
the law if the total weight of shark fins landed or found on 
board exceeds five percent of the total weight of shark 
carcasses. This ``fin to carcass'' ratio was intended to 
provide a mechanism for enforcing the finning prohibition by 
ensuring that the amount of fins landed is proportional to the 
amount of bodies. However, it has proven very difficult to 
determine whether a given set of fins belong to a particular 
dressed carcass. Agency law enforcement personnel have reported 
incidents of fishermen mixing fins and carcasses for maximum 
profit and continuing to discard less desirable, finned sharks 
at sea. As an alternative to the rebuttable presumption, H.R. 
5741 would require that sharks be landedwith fins naturally 
attached. This ``fins attached'' requirement also applies to the 
custody, transfer of fins at sea from one vessel to another, and to the 
landing of shark fins.
    Finally, H.R. 5741 would amend the High Seas Driftnet 
Fishing Moratorium Protection Act to allow the Secretary of 
Commerce to identify and list nations that have fishing vessels 
that have not adopted a regulatory program for the conservation 
of sharks that is similar to that of the U.S. This amendment 
would further promote the conservation of sharks 
internationally and provide a more equal playing field for U.S. 
fishermen.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 5741 was introduced on April 9, 2008 by Representative 
Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
    On April 16, 2008, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the 
bill. Dr. Rebecca Lent, Director of NOAA Fisheries' Office of 
International Affairs expressed concerns about removing the 
rebuttable presumption absent an alternative enforcement 
mechanism. Dr. Lent referred to the requirement included in the 
then-proposed rule for Amendment 2 to the Highly Migratory 
Species Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico 
sharks to require that sharks be landed with fins naturally 
attached, while noting the absence of such a requirement in the 
Pacific. Captain Michael Giglio, Chief of the Office of Law 
Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, also supported the fins-attached 
approach proposed by NOAA in the Atlantic, stating that, ``This 
will significantly aid at-sea enforcement with respect to 
Atlantic sharks, but we still face challenges in the Pacific 
due to the current regulatory regime.'' (Landing sharks with 
the fins naturally attached has, however, been required under 
Hawaii state law since 2000.)
    On June 4, 2008, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. 
Responding to the concerns raised by the Administration, 
Congresswoman Bordallo (D-GU) offered an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute to restore the rebuttable presumption 
that was eliminated in the bill as introduced. The amendment 
also tightened the language intended to close the loophole 
related to vessel transport of fins. It was adopted by voice 
vote. The bill was then forwarded, as amended, to the Full 
Committee.
    On June 11, 2008, the Full Natural Resources Committee met 
to consider the bill. Representative Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) 
offered an amendment once again striking the rebuttable 
presumption but providing an alternative enforcement mechanism 
by requiring that sharks be landed with fins naturally 
attached. It was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, 
was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Shark Conservation Act of 2008''.

Section 2. Amendment of High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium 
        Protection Act

    Section 2 authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to list a 
nation if its fishing vessels are engaged in fishing activities 
that target or incidentally catch sharks and if the nation has 
not adopted a regulatory program to conserve sharks, including 
prohibiting shark finning, that is comparable to that of the 
U.S.

Section 3. Amendment of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
        Management Act

    Section 3 prohibits shark finning, possessing a shark fin 
that is not attached to the carcass on a fishing vessel, 
transferring a shark fin that is not attached to the carcass 
from one vessel to another at sea, or landing a shark fin that 
is not attached to the carcass. Section 3 also strikes the 
rebuttable presumption in section 307(1) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the High Seas Driftnet 
Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act to improve the 
conservation of sharks.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 5741--Shark Conservation Act of 2008

    Summary: H.R. 5741 would prohibit certain activities that 
may involve shark finning (the practice of removing a shark's 
fins and discarding its carcass). The legislation also would 
direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA) to identify foreign nations that do not sufficiently 
regulate fishing practices that harm sharks.
    Based on information provided by NOAA and assuming the 
availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 5741 would cost $5 million over the 2009-2013 
period. Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues or 
direct spending.
    H.R. 5741 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect 
the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 5741 would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined 
in UMRA, by requiring that shark fins aboard fishing vessels, 
shark fins transferred or received at sea, and shark fins 
landed at a U.S. port be naturally attached to the carcass. CBO 
estimates that the cost of complying with the mandate would 
fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for 
private-sector mandates ($136 million in 2008, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 5741 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal year in millions of dollars--
                                                              --------------------------------------------------
                                                                2009    2010    2011    2012    2013   2009-2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level................................       1       1       1       1       1         5
Estimated Outlays............................................       1       1       1       1       1         5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
5741 will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2008 and that 
the necessary amounts will be appropriated for each year.
    H.R. 5741 would require NOAA to identify any nation that 
has not adopted a conservation program for sharks similar to 
that of the United States if fishing vessels of that nation 
catch sharks. The bill also would amend the Mangnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prohibit fishing 
vessels from possessing shark fins that are not naturally 
attached to a carcass. Based on information provided by NOAA, 
CBO estimates that the agency would need $1 million for each of 
fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to expand existing reports on 
fishing practices, to enforce new prohibitions on possessing 
shark fins, and to help foreign nations improve their shark 
conservation efforts by hiring new regulators and developing 
new laws and enforcement mechanisms.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 5741 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 5741 would 
impose a private-sector mandate as defined in UMRA. The bill 
would make it unlawful to possess shark fins aboard fishing 
vessels, transfer or receive shark fins at sea, or land shark 
fins at a U.S. port without the fin naturally attached to the 
carcass. CBO estimates that the cost to comply with the mandate 
would fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA 
for private-sector mandates ($136 million in 2008, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    Current law prohibits the possession of a shark fin on a 
fishing vessel and the landing of a shark fin at a U.S. port 
without the corresponding carcass. By requiring fins to be 
naturally attached to the shark, the bill would impose an 
additional mandate on owners and operators of those vessels. 
Because the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a 
final rule with the same requirement for sharks harvested in 
the Atlantic Ocean, the mandate would apply only to vessels in 
the Pacific Ocean. If the requirement for Pacific sharks is 
implemented in a manner similar to the rule for Atlantic 
sharks, leaving fins attached by a flap of skin would be 
considered naturally attached and compliant with the mandate. 
Compared to leaving the fins completely attached, that process 
would provide for easier storage aboard the vessel and removal 
of the fin once landed. CBO expects that the mandate in the 
bill would be enforced in this manner and thus would not impose 
significant additional costs on owners and operators of 
vessels.
    The bill also would impose a mandate on the owners and 
operators of certain U.S. vessels by prohibiting the vessels 
from receiving shark fins at sea that are not naturally 
attached to the carcass. The cost would be any net loss in 
income to the owners and operators of those vessels. CBO 
estimates that the cost would not be significant in relation to 
the threshold established in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and 
Jeffrey Lafave; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Neil Hood; Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 5741 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

SECTION 610 OF THE HIGH SEAS DRIFTNET FISHING MORATORIUM PROTECTION ACT

SEC. 610. EQUIVALENT CONSERVATION MEASURES.

  [(a) Identification.--The Secretary shall identify, and list 
in the report under section 607, a nation if--]
  (a) Identification.--The Secretary shall identify, and list 
in the report under section 607--
          (1) a nation if--
                  [(1)] (A) fishing vessels of that nation are 
                engaged, or have been engaged during the 
                preceding calendar year in fishing activities 
                or practices;
                          [(A)] (i) in waters beyond any 
                        national jurisdiction that result in 
                        bycatch of a protected living marine 
                        resource; or
                          [(B)] (ii) beyond the exclusive 
                        economic zone of the United States that 
                        result in bycatch of a protected living 
                        marine resource shared by the United 
                        States;
                  [(2)] (B) the relevant international 
                organization for the conservation and 
                protection of such resources or the relevant 
                international or regional fishery organization 
                has failed to implement effective measures to 
                end or reduce such bycatch, or the nation is 
                not a party to, or does not maintain 
                cooperating status with, such organization; and
                  [(3)] (C) the nation has not adopted a 
                regulatory program governing such fishing 
                practices designed to end or reduce such 
                bycatch that is comparable to that of the 
                United States, taking into account different 
                conditions[.]; and
          (2) a nation if--
                  (A) fishing vessels of that nation are 
                engaged, or have been engaged during the 
                preceding calendar year, in fishing activities 
                or practices that target or incidentally catch 
                sharks; and
                  (B) the nation has not adopted a regulatory 
                program to provide for the conservation of 
                sharks, including measures to prohibit removal 
                any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) 
                and discarding the carcass of the shark at sea, 
                that is comparable to that of the United 
                States, taking into account different 
                conditions.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


SECTION 307 OF THE MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT 
                                  ACT

SEC. 307. PROHIBITED ACTS.

  It is unlawful--
          (1) for any person--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  [(P)(i) to remove any of the fins of a shark 
                (including the tail) and discard the carcass of 
                the shark at sea;
                  [(ii) to have custody, control, or possession 
                of any such fin aboard a fishing vessel without 
                the corresponding carcass; or
                  [(iii) to land any such fin without the 
                corresponding carcass;]
                  (P)(i) to remove any of the fins of a shark 
                (including the tail) at sea;
                  (ii) to have custody, control, or possession 
                of any shark fin aboard a fishing vessel unless 
                it is naturally attached to the corresponding 
                carcass;
                  (iii) to transfer any shark fin from one 
                vessel to another vessel at sea, or to receive 
                any shark fin in such transfer, without the fin 
                naturally attached to the corresponding 
                carcass; or
                  (iv) to land any shark fin that is not 
                naturally attached to the corresponding 
                carcass, or to land any shark carcass without 
                the fins (including the tail) naturally 
                attached;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

        [For purposes of subparagraph (P) there is a rebuttable 
        presumption that any shark fins landed from a fishing 
        vessel or found on board a fishing vessel were taken, 
        held, or landed in violation of subparagraph (P) if the 
        total weight of shark fins landed or found on board 
        exceeds 5 percent of the total weight of shark 
        carcasses landed or found on board.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Due to an mistaken court ruling, a loophole was opened in 
the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 (Act) which allowed 
fishermen to transfer fins at sea to transshipment vessels. 
This was clearly a violation of the Act, but the court ruled 
otherwise. The primary reason for the Shark Finning Prohibition 
Act of 2000 was to require fishermen to land the carcasses of 
the sharks they had caught so that fishery managers could 
determine the level and type of shark species being harvested.
    For fish species such as sharks that have long life 
histories, good management is critical and in order to have 
good management for the shark fisheries, we need to have 
accurate data on the types and numbers of sharks being taken by 
fishermen. It is also important to respect the expertise of the 
fishery managers. It is important that those Councils that 
authorize shark harvests and the National Marine Fisheries 
Service (NMFS) determine whether this legislation, as amended, 
works for the fisheries they manage or not. It is important 
that not only will this legislation produce better information 
for fishery managers, but also for enforcement purposes.
    A proposal to require similar landing requirements for east 
coast shark fisheries--which are managed by NMFS--has just been 
finalized; however, the west coast shark fisheries are managed 
by at least two Councils and we have not heard back from them 
whether such a requirement would be acceptable. I am concerned 
that this legislation may be viewed as short-circuiting the 
ability of people from the industry to comment on the proposal 
through the normal Council process and that is unfortunate.
    The court was clearly wrong in their decision and I am glad 
that we are overriding the court decision in this case. I hope 
that the legislation, as amended, will clarify the intent of 
the original legislation and will not cause unintended 
consequences that make enforcement more difficult.
                                                         Don Young.