Humans kill something like 100 million sharks annually. More humans are killed annually by dogs and by falling coconuts than are killed by sharks. At such levels, humanity will certainly survive its encounter with dogs and coconuts. The same cannot be confidently said of sharks and people.

The U.S. Shark Finning Prohibition Act is, unfortunately, another law whose name is misleading. The law carries a loophole that makes enforcement difficult. Sharks are allowed to be landed after their fins have been cut off. It’s time to shut down that loophole and require that fishing companies prove that they are only killing the legal number and types of sharks for their fins by landing the creatures fully intact.

Sharks help to maintain an essential balance beneath the water’s surface. Removing them from the ocean creates booms in prey species further down the food chain, which, in turn, can create terribly destructive cascading effects on countless ocean creatures.