The Shark Finning Prohibition Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton on December 21, 2000. It had forbidden finning by any vessels in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (up to 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) offshore), and possession of fins by any U.S.-flagged fishing vessels on international waters. It also prohibited any fishing vessel from landing at a U.S. port with shark fins whose weight exceeds 5% of the total weight of shark carcasses landed or on board. These provisions left loopholes that would successfully be exploited in its first court test.
This summary is from Wikipedia.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Shark Finning Prohibition Act - Amends the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to make it unlawful to: (1) remove any of the fins of a shark, including the tail, and discard the carcass of the shark at sea; (2) have control or possession of such a fin aboard a fishing vessel without the corresponding carcass; or (3) land such a fin without the corresponding carcass.Requires the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) initiate international negotiations for the prohibition of shark-finning; (2) submit to Congress a list of nations whose vessels conduct shark- finning, set forth a plan of action for the international conservation of sharks, and include recommendations for U.S. compliance with national, international, and regional obligations relating to shark populations; and (3) establish a research program for Pacific and Atlantic sharks.Directs the National Marine Fisheries Service to initiate a western Pacific longline fisheries cooperative research program.Authorizes appropriations.