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by: Josh Clark
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Lobbying Policymakers to Protect Sharks
DCI | iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Researchers compile and publish reports that illustrate the decline of shark species worldwide; the media help to raise awareness by covering the findings. That said, those reports may do the most good in the hands of a good lobbyist.

Groups like the Pew Charitable Trusts fund and employ lobbyists who persuade lawmakers to support legislation that create sanctions against shark fishing, provide enforcement of protective laws and offer incentives to protect sharks.

One sterling example of the work of lobbying groups like the Pew Charitable Trusts is the U.S. Shark Conservation Act of 2009. This law would make removing a shark's fin - even one from a dead shark — or having a shark fin aboard a vessel illegal. Finning is the process of removing the fin and returning the usually still-alive shark back to the water to die. When finned, the shark is returned to the water alive to either bleed to death or die of starvation because it's lost much of its navigational sense.

The measures found in the bill would go a long way toward protecting sharks; finning is a major reason why sharks are hunted.

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