Shark defense

Amid a flurry of U.S. Senate actions on high profile issues like gays in the military and tax cuts, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic floor leader, also won praise for shepherding a little-noticed shark protection bill to passage.

The Pew Environment Group issued a statement praising Reid and bill sponsor John Kerry for passage of the bill banning shark finning off the West Coast. It is already illegal in U.S. Atlantic waters.

“The Senate has acted decisively today to help protect sharks, the predators at the top of the global marine food chain. The [measure] would once and for all end the practice of shark finning in U.S. waters and give the United States the credibility to persuade other nations and international fishery managers to follow suit.”

Passage of the measure won support from Senate Republicans, including floor leader Mitch McConnell, but the Nevada Republican Party issued a statement headed, “Majority Leader Reid Is Working On Legislation For Sharks, Instead Of Policies That Will Help Produce Jobs For The 192,000 Unemployed Nevadans.”