- Shark finning in its territorial waters, or
- The importation, sale, or possession of shark fins obtained by shark finning.
Shark finning is the practice of taking a shark from the ocean, removing its fins and/or tail, then returning the remainder of the shark to the sea. While the shark is often alive while its fins are removed, it is unable to swim, and either suffocates or sinks to the ocean floor where it is eaten by other fish.
The U.S. banned all vessels operating within its (exclusive) economic zone from shark finning by passing the Shark Finning Prohibition Act in 2000. Shark finning poses a conservation challenge, as shark fin soup is a popular meal in other countries, and a 2009 estimate put the number of sharks killed as high as 73 million. According to another report, by 2013 the number of sharks killed annually had risen to about 100 million.