Monday, European Union nations backed a complete ban on the practice of removing sharks' fins before throwing the fish back into the sea to die.
The EU nations said they want all boats in their waters and EU-registered boats anywhere in the world to land sharks with their fins attached. The proposals still need the support of the European Parliament before they can become law.
EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki said the law would "ease control and help us eradicate shark finning," which she called cruel to the animals and a vast waste of resources.
As the annual meeting of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organizations (NAFO) begins today in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Project AWARE, Shark Advocates International, and other like-minded NGOs have asked for science based catch limits on threatened thorny skates.