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Nevada Governor Sandoval Signs Trafficking Bill to Protect Sharks, Rays and Wildlife

Carson City, Nevada
For Immediate Distribution
Contact: David McGuire, Director Shark Stewards

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law a bill that will protect endangered wildlife from trafficking and poaching in the state. The law, SB 194, will prohibit the sale of products and body parts from sharks and rays, sea turtles, elephants, rhinos, lion, leopard, cheetah, tigers, great apes, whale, narwhal, walrus, hippopotamus and pangolin.
A person shall not purchase, offer for sale, or possess with intent to sell any species of animal species or product covered under the law. Many of these species are threatened and endangered species heavily impacted by the wildlife trade. In many cases the state law complements federal efforts enforcing illegal wildlife trade.
The law will also make shark fin soup and the sale and trade of shark in and gill raker illegal in the state. Consumption of shark fin has increased in Nevada, largely associated with the increase in visitors consuming shark fin and new casinos catering to them. Large rays like manta and eagle rays are being killed in large numbers for use as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

“This is a huge victory not only for Nevada but for wildlife that is poached or illegally harvested around the globe, including marine species. It demonstrates that Nevada is a leader in animal conservation<” said David McGuire, Director of Shark Stewards. “Nevada was the hub of shark fin trade and consumption in the US. This law protects wildlife and has the unique benefit of saving sharks and rays from the shark fin and gill raker trade. It is a another step forward protecting threatened species.”

The demand for shark fin has lead to the rapid decline of many shark populations globally including threatened and endangered species. It is estimated that over 100 million sharks are killed each year from illegal, unregulated and unsustainable fishing, including shark finning. Shark finning is the practice of catching a shark and discarding the body while retaining only the fins to supply the lucrative shark fin market. Shark fining is illegal in US waters, but fins from sharks finned on the high seas, caught illegally or unsustainably by other nations enter US markets.

“One third of oceanic shark species are threatened with extinction. By reducing the demand for shark fin and ray gills, and educating consumers of the damage this luxury dish is causing to sharks, we can help turn the tide for sharks and ocean health,” said McGuire.

Nevada makes the 12th US state to join In 2016 11 other US states, 3 US Territories and several other countries banning the sale and trade of shark fin and shark fin soup. A federal law, the US Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act (S 3095), would outlaw the trade of shark fin throughout the country has just moved through the Senate.

Please Join us and Support Saving Sharks!

More information and an online petition to support the Federal Bill can be found at SharkStewards.org

About Shark Stewards
Shark Stewards is dedicated to conserving our oceans through the protection of
Sharks and marine ecosystems. Shark Stewards is at the forefront of the US and global movement to save sharks, ban the shark fin trade, combatting Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU) and establishing marine protected areas. Shark Stewards is expanding across the Pacific into Asia with a Pacific Shark Alliance directed at reducing the shark fin trade and increasing protection for sharks, rays and ecosystems in Malaysia.
Based in San Francisco, Shark Stewards is a project of The Earth Island Institute, an environmentalist think tank and is a 501c3 non-profit.