January 9, 2019

For Immediate Distribution

Contact David McGuire, david@sharkstewards.org

New Jersey Governor Murphy Signs 13th Shark Fin Ban Into Law.

Today Shark fins will be banned in New Jersey next year under a law signed by Governor Phil Murphy.

This is intended to end the shark fin trade, which kills approximately 100 million sharks each year primarily for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup. The high demand for the soup is causing overfishing of sharks, including the cruel practice of shark finning. 

“Shark finning is the practice where sharks are caught and their fins are cut off, often while they are still alive, and the body is discarded to drown or bleed to death. Increasingly, sharks are targeted in fisheries driven by the high demand for the fin, placing shark populations at risk globally,” said David McGuire, Director of the shark conservation non-profit Shark Stewards.

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, D-Hudson, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. “Aside from being downright cruel, shark finning is threatening the very existence of certain species, which ultimately poses a threat to the balance of all marine life.”

Possessing or selling a shark fin will be illegal in New Jersey.

“Shark fins are often obtained in a very inhumane manner that causes much suffering to the animal,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am proud to sign this law that will prevent the catch and release of sharks for the purpose of cutting off their fins.” The law excludes shark fins used for scientific research or education purposes. Lawfully obtained smooth dogfish or spiny dogfish fins are also exempt. Penalties could hit $55,000 and a one-year prison sentence for a third offense.

“Saving sharks protects ocean health and US Fisheries. We hope that this bill will pave the way for the US Senate to quickly pass Senate Bill 877 to make the US shark fin free and help save over 70 threatened species from extinction,” added McGuire.

The ban takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.