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Oceana on Monday called on the U.S. government to ban the import of shark products, including fins, cartilage and meat, from countries with insufficient shark protections. Specifically, the group is urging the country to use its power under the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 to take action against countries with weaker shark conservation measures, including China, Japan and Indonesia.

In a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service, Oceana identified 15 countries with weaker shark harvesting measures than the United States — Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru and Spain.

“Although shark finning is banned in the U.S., we import fins from countries with little or no protection for sharks,” said Rebecca Greenberg, Oceana marine scientist. “By taking action against countries like these, the U.S. can help reduce the demand that leads to shark finning, encouraging improved shark conservation worldwide.”

Oceana also said the United States imports shark products from countries that have reportedly finned sharks or fished for sharks illegally, including Chinese Taipei, Japan and Mexico.

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