U.S. proposes international rules to curb shark killing

Those Americans who despair in thinking their country a laggard on so many international environmental issues can take heart — at least the U.S. is firmly against shark finning. Yesterday, at a conservation meeting being hosted in New Orleans, the U.S. government proposed sweeping international measures to curtail the killing of sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, including a complete ban on the practice of chopping off sharks’ fins and tossing the rest of the creature back into the sea. Shark fins are highly sought-after delicacies in some Asian countries, where they’re the key ingredient in exorbitantly priced soups. More than 100 million sharks are killed each year, according to the U.N., and shark populations have plunged dramatically in the last half-century.