The MoU is a non-legally binding agreement that currently has 48 signatories, including the European Union.  The MoU enters into force for signatories with immediate effect.  Compared to other marine fish, sharks are characterized by relatively slow growth, late sexual maturity, and a low number of boys per brood. These biological factors make many shark species vulnerable to overfishing. Sharks are caught in directed fisheries as well as by-catch in other non-directed fisheries. Many species of sharks have been overexploited because their fins are highly valued for shark fin soup. Worldwide, data on shark catches are generally lacking, especially for species-specific data. For these reasons, sharks pose many challenges to fisheries conservation and management. West Virginia Senate report Jay Rockefeller reiterated that “the bill clarified in law what was already commonly understood as the scope of the SFPA,” before the case took place before the case, but made no comment on it.
 In July, a group of shark survivors visited senators` offices to defend the law.  Shark fins refer to the practice of cutting off the fins of sharks living at sea and then throwing the rest of the fish back into the ocean. If they are still alive, either the sharks die of asphyxiation or they are eaten because they cannot move normally. Shark fins are widespread and largely unregulated and unmonitored. The practice is mostly on the rise due to the growing demand for shark fins for shark fin soup and traditional remedies, especially in China and its territories. Studies estimate that 26 to 73 million sharks are harvested each year for their fins. The estimated median of 38 million is almost four times higher than the number recorded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , but significantly lower than the estimates of many conservationists.  Shark fins are one of the most expensive seafood products in the world and can fetch up to $300 per pound, especially in Asian markets.
 In 2009, the International Union for Conservation of Nature`s (IUCN) Red List of Marine Sharks identified 64 species, one-third of all oceanic shark species threatened with extinction due to shark fishing and fins.  Species can be listed in two appendices: Appendix I – includes species considered vulnerable throughout their range or in a significant part of their range. Contracting Parties which are grazing States for the species listed in Appendix I should endeavour to protect them strictly. Appendix II – contains migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status and require international agreements (e.g. .