The proposed update would allow fin removal only if smooth-hounds made up at least 25% of the total catch on board. Other shark species may be kept on board as long as the fins remain attached.
Professor Caroline Karp and students in her International Marine Policy seminar attended the hearing to submit comments on these revisions. They recommended bans or restrictions on species of sharks which are listed as “protected” or “overfished” in federal law. These species, such as the porbeagle shark, can still be landed in RI waters. They also recommended a ban on shark fin possession, including smooth-hound fins. This would close a loophole that enables fins which are banned in Massachusetts to be sold in Rhode Island instead.