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                                                      Calendar No. 675
115th Congress       }                        {                Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                        {                115-388
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                SHARK FIN TRADE ELIMINATION ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 793
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                                               
                                 

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]





               November 27, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                     U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

89-010                      WASHINGTON : 2018





               
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
       
                     one hundred fifteenth congress

                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  TOM UDALL, New Mexico
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MIKE LEE, Utah                       TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  MARGARET WOOD HASSAN, New Hampshire

CORY GARDNER, Colorado               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JON TESTER, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director






                                                      Calendar No. 675
115th Congress        }                       {                Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session           }                       {                115-388

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



 
                SHARK FIN TRADE ELIMINATION ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

               November 27, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 793]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 793) to prohibit sale of shark 
fins, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 793 is to prohibit a person from 
possessing, transporting, offering for sale, selling, or 
purchasing shark fins or products containing shark fins.

                          Background and Needs

    Shark finning is the practice of removing and retaining a 
shark's fin and discarding the carcass at sea. This practice 
has led to a growing concern about the status of certain shark 
species.\1\ Shark finning has been prohibited under Federal law 
since 2000.\2\ The Shark Conservation Act of 2010\3\ amended 
section 608 of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Protection Act\4\ 
to further prohibit the removal of any of the fins of a shark 
(including the tail) and discarding the carcass of the shark at 
sea. The prohibition focuses on the removal and custody of a 
detached fin aboard a fishing vessel in U.S.-controlled waters. 
But, there is no Federal ban on the removal and sale of shark 
fins once the shark is brought ashore. Once a shark fin is 
detached from the body, it is almost impossible to determine 
whether the shark was legally caught or the fin lawfully 
removed. Determination of the species also is difficult, which 
is problematic given that some species of sharks are threatened 
with extinction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA 
Fisheries, ``2014 Shark Finning Report to Congress'' (http://
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/laws_policies/sca/documents/
shark_finning_report_2014.pdf).
    \2\Shark Finning Prohibition Act (16 U.S.C.  1822 note).
    \3\P.L. 111	348 (124 Stat. 3668).
    \4\16 U.S.C.  1826i.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the nationwide prohibition on shark finning, 
11 States (Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, 
Maryland, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, California, and 
Washington) and 3 territories (American Samoa, Guam, and the 
Northern Mariana Islands) have already implemented bans on the 
sale, and in many cases the possession, of shark fins. A 
proposed ban is currently pending in New Jersey.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (MSA)\5\ guides management of Federal fisheries resources 
through the use of fishery management plans within the eight 
established regional councils. The National Oceanic Atmospheric 
Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service works with 
the fishery management councils, commercial and recreational 
fishermen, and others to conserve and sustainably manage 
domestic shark fisheries in both the Atlantic Ocean, including 
the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. 
Sustainably managed shark fisheries, including the selling of 
legally harvested shark fins, provide opportunities for both 
commercial and recreational fishermen.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\16 U.S.C.  1801 et seq.
    \6\NOAA, NOAA Fisheries, ``Shark Conservation in the United States 
and Abroad'' (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2013/07/
7_15_13shark_conservation_us_and_abroad.html).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 793 would do the following:
     Prohibit a person from possessing, transporting, 
            offering for sale, selling, or purchasing shark 
            fins or products containing shark fins, unless 
            taken lawfully under a State, territorial, or 
            Federal license or permit.
     Establish a maximum penalty for each violation of 
            $100,000, or the fair market value of the shark 
            fins, whichever is greater.

                          Legislative History

    S. 793 was introduced on March 30, 2017, by Senator Booker 
(for himself and Senators Capito, Cantwell, McCain, Peters, 
Inhofe, Whitehouse, Wicker, Blumenthal, Portman, and Schatz) 
and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate. There are 29 additional 
cosponsors. A nearly identical bill, H.R. 1456, was introduced 
on March 9, 2017, in the House of Representatives. On May 18, 
2017, the Committee met in open Executive Session and by voice 
vote ordered S. 793 reported favorably with an amendment (in 
the nature of a substitute).

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 793--Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2017

    S. 793 would prohibit the sale, transport, possession, and 
purchase of shark fins and products containing shark fins. 
Violators of this prohibition would be subject to a civil 
penalty pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act. The bill also would allow for the lawful 
possession of shark fins obtained via a state, territorial, or 
federal license or permit if the shark fin is destroyed or 
discarded, used for noncommercial purposes, or used for display 
or research purposes by a museum, college, university, or any 
permitted researcher. The prohibition in the bill would not 
apply to Mustelus canis (smooth dogfish) or Squalus acanthias 
(spiny dogfish).
    Because S. 793 would prohibit the sale and purchase of 
shark fins, CBO estimates that revenues from customs duties 
collected on imported shark fin products would decline. CBO 
also estimates that penalty collections resulting from 
violations of the bill's prohibitions would increase revenues. 
Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, based on 
information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) and from states that ban the possession 
of shark fins, CBO estimates that the net effect of those 
revenue changes would not be significant in any year or over 
the 2018-2027 period. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending.
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
significantly increase net direct spending or on-budget 
deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods 
beginning in 2028.
    S. 793 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.
    The prohibitions in S. 793 would impose private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA. The cost of complying with those 
mandates would include any loss of income from the sale of 
shark fins and products containing shark fins and the cost to 
obtain a license or permit for noncommercial takings. Based on 
information from NOAA about the value of sharks landed in the 
United States and the value of shark fins imported into the 
United States, CBO estimates that the loss of income would 
total less than $3 million annually. Additionally, CBO 
estimates that the cost of obtaining a permit for the 
possession of shark fins for noncommercial purposes would be 
minimal and would apply to a limited number of entities. 
Consequently, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would 
fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for 
private-sector mandates ($156 million in 2017, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jacob Fabian 
(for federal costs) and Amy Petz (for private-sector mandates). 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 793, as reported, would not create any new programs. 
However, it may impose new regulatory requirements. The 
prohibition of shark finning would likely be detailed in a 
rulemaking and may subject individuals or businesses to new 
regulations.

                            economic impact

    The reported bill would not have an adverse economic impact 
on the Nation.

                                privacy

    The reported bill would not have a negative impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    The legislation would not increase paperwork requirements 
for private individuals or businesses. The bill would require 
one report from the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) by 
January 1, 2027, discussing the impacts, if any, of the 
exemption allowing for the continued harvest of spiny dogfish 
and smooth dogfish fins and tails.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Findings.

    This section would provide the sense of Congress that: many 
shark populations are on the decline and the global trade of 
shark fins is one of its greatest threats; shark fins are 
removed primarily to be commercialized as a fungible commodity, 
and are often removed while the remainder of the shark is 
discarded; and abolition of the shark fin trade in the United 
States will remove the United States from the global market and 
create a stronger position for advocacy internationally.

Section 3. Prohibition on sale of shark fins.

    This section would prohibit a person from possessing, 
transporting, offering for sale, selling, or purchasing shark 
fins or products containing shark fins, unless taken lawfully 
under a State, territorial, or Federal license or permit as 
authorized by section 4. This section also would align the 
violation with the penalties under the MSA with a maximum civil 
penalty for each violation of $100,000 or the fair market value 
of the shark fin, whichever is greater.

Section 4. Exceptions.

    This section would provide an exception allowing a person 
to possess a shark fin that was taken lawfully under a State, 
territorial, or Federal license or permit to take or land 
sharks, if the shark fin is separated from the shark in a 
manner consistent with the license or permit and is--
        (1) destroyed or discarded upon separation;
        (2) used for noncommercial subsistence purposes in 
        accordance with State or territorial law;
        (3) used solely for display or research purposes by a 
        museum, college, or university, or other person under a 
        State or Federal permit to conduct noncommercial 
        scientific research; or
        (4) retained by the license or permit holder for a 
        noncommercial purpose.

Section 5. Dogfish.

    This section would create an exemption from the prohibition 
under section 3 for the species known as smooth dogfish and 
spiny dogfish and allow a person to possess, transport, offer 
for sale, sell, or purchase a fin or tail from those species. 
This section also would require the Secretary to review the 
exemption and submit a report to Congress with recommendations 
not later than January 1, 2027.

Section 6. Definition of shark fin.

    This section would define the term ``shark fin'' to mean 
the raw, dried, or otherwise processed detached fin or tail of 
a shark.

Section 7. State authority.

    This section would clarify that nothing in this Act should 
be construed to preclude or limit the right of a State or 
territory to adopt or enforce more stringent standards.

Section 8. Severability.

    This section would specify that if any provision of the Act 
is found invalid it would not affect other provisions of the 
Act which are severable.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]