"The House adopted legislation Tuesday aimed at protecting sharks off U.S. coasts, though an exemption in the bill has raised concerns among federal fishery officials.
The Senate approved the bill Monday, and it now awaits President Obama's signature.
The Shark Conservation Act addresses loopholes in a law passed a decade ago in an effort to curb "finning," the practice of cutting off a shark's valuable fins and dumping its body overboard. It would require any vessel to land sharks with their fins attached and would prevent non-fishing vessels from transporting fins without their carcasses.
Shark finning, now prohibited off the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico but not the Pacific, has expanded worldwide due to rising demand for shark fin soup in Asia. "