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Shark fin protesters in Hong Kong. Photo: Kin Cheung / AP

A new study has indicated that banning the possession of shark fins in the United States might actually hurt shark conservation efforts in the long run as other less-regulated countries step in to fill the void, per the AP.

Why it matters: There's a concerted effort in Congress, spearheaded by a bill sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, to ban shark fins in the U.S., piggybacking off the success of a similar ivory ban that was instituted last year.

Shark fins? They're popular in soup across Asia, especially China, which is by far the world's largest consumer of the fins.

The problem: Caught sharks are often "finned," where the whole — often still alive — shark is tossed back after just the fin is removed. Finning is illegal in the U.S. but remains widely practiced around the world.

The study's argument: Because the U.S. is a leader in responsible shark fishing, removing the country from the trade altogether could be to the detriment of shark conservation efforts as other countries would likely attempt to meet demand by finning rather than sustainable tactics that utilize the whole shark.

The response from environmental groups: NOAA has investigated hundreds of allegations of finning in the U.S. this decade. A representative for Oceana, a marine conservation non-profit, told the AP: "Yes, we are better, but just because we are better doesn't mean we are good. There are other threats facing sharks, but this [proposed ban] is a very important step in the right direction."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.