2019 Update & Action to Support the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act

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2019 Update & Action to Support the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act

On November 20, 2019 the US House made a major move in global shark conservation and passed HR 737 to ban the sale and trade of shark fins in the USA. The bill has now been moved to the Senate as S877 (Booker, D. NJ).

Sign the Petition and Contact Your Senator to SUPPORT the US Shark Fin Trade Ban HR 737/ S877

2019 Globally shark populations are on the decline. 25% of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. Sharks are being overfished and the shark fin trade is threatening large species of sharks such as blue sharks with extinction. Join Shark Stewards supporting the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act HR 737/S877.

Stop the US shark fin trade

A bipartisan group of dozens of House lawmakers reintroduced legislation into the House on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 that would make it illegal to buy or sell shark fins.

Follow here to stay updated on the US and State shark fin legislation.

Please support our work to save sharks from extinction.


The bill, led by Del. Gregorio Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), is meant to further crack down on shark finning, in which fishermen remove fins and discard the shark overboard to die. It will further restrict trade of fins from overfished and endangered sharks and help strengthen fisheries.

Representative Michael McCaul (R. Texas) is the lead original cosponsor of H.R. 737, which has 68 cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), John Katko (R-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL).

“The strong, bipartisan support for this legislation sends a clear message that we have to pay more attention to protecting the Earth’s oceans and the life within those oceans,” said bill sponsor Rep. Sablan. “Banning the sale of shark fins to help end this wasteful and cruel practice is important, but just a small step on the way to giving the oceans the full respect they must have in federal law.”

A companion Bill, The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act S. 877 passed the Senate Commerce Committee with a near-unanimous voice vote April 4, with American lawmakers leaving no doubt of how they view the nefarious global trade in which fishermen cut the fins off sharks and dump them back in the waters to drown, be eaten alive by other fish, or bleed to death.

While our federal law bans shark finning in American waters, the United States is an end market as well as a transit point for shark fins obtained in other countries where finning is unregulated or where finning laws are not sufficiently enforced. The bill, introduced by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., would decisively put an end to such U.S. participation, while reinforcing our country’s leadership in ending the global trade in shark fins.

Contact  Your Representatives and  Your Senators Directly and urge them to support the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2019.

FOLLOW the progress at Gov Track.

UPDATE September 16, 2019

Kilili’s shark finning bill also approved in House Committee
Also approved in committee Wednesday was Sablan’s Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act. The bill, H.R. 737, generally makes it illegal to possess, buy, or sell shark fins or any product containing shark fins in the United States. It is modeled after a law in the Marianas and similar restrictions in 12 states and two other non-state areas of the U.S.
Shark fin bill now has 230 cosponsors


First introduced in 2016, this law that will eliminate the US trade of threatened, endangered and sharks finned illegally or in countries without shark finning laws. The bill has passed through the Senate and House Committees in 2018.

Representative Sablan first introduced the legislation, known as the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, in 2016, modeling it after a similar law in the Northern Mariana Islands. Then-Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) was the lead Republican sponsor at the time, but he retired from Congress this month.

H.R.737 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) To prohibit the sale of shark fins, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep. Sablan, Gregorio Kilili Camacho [D-MP-At Large] (Introduced 01/23/2019) 

Cosponsors: (68

Committees: House – Natural Resources 

Latest Action: House – 01/23/2019 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. (All Actions)

Shark Stewards
 Send an email like this sample:
Dear Members of Congress:
The demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market every year, and more than 70 percent of the 14 most common shark species in the fin trade are considered at high or very high risk of extinction.
HR 737 is a new bill introduced by Representatives Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D. Northern Marianas) and Michael McCaul (R. Texas) that will ban the sale and trade of shark fin and strengthen enforcement against illegal shark finning. This law will help protect endangered sharks globally and domestically and will strengthen US fisheries.
Since the original bill’s introduction in 2017, the message has been loud and clear across the globe; the United States will not stand by while many shark populations continue to decline, largely due to the demand for their fins. This notion is spreading globally. China, the world’s largest trader of shark fins, has also stepped up. Just this year, all three of its state-owned airlines banned the shipment of fins. These Chinese airlines join 42 additional airlines that have committed to not transporting fins, comprising well over 50 percent of international airlines. And it’s not only airlines that are taking action — 20 major international shipping companies have also said they will not participate in the fin trade.
In 2018, over 150 scientists sent a letter in support of strengthening protection for sharks by limiting the shark fin trade. While the U.S. exported under $1 million worth of shark fins in 2016, a study found that shark-related dives in Florida alone generated more than $221 million in revenue and fueled over 3,700 jobs that same year, meaning the revenue from Florida shark tourism was over 200 times that of the entire national fin trade.
Finally, although the U.S. has passed a ban on shark finning, we continue to import fins from countries with no protections for sharks. And while 12 states have passed state bans, fins continue to be imported and exported into and out of some of those states. A national ban would help ensure the U.S. no longer participates in the global shark fin trade.
Please support the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, which will help to reduce the international fin trade market, improve upon current enforcement capabilities, and reinforce the status of the U.S. as a leader in shark conservation. 

Representatives in support and actions on the bill are here.

Contact your Congressperson and urge them to Support HR 737.

Shark finning is the unsustainable and inhumane practice of cutting off a shark’s fins, often while the shark is still alive, and discarding the body into the ocean. The fins are used in the luxury shark fin soup and other dishes. Although shark fin itself is tasteless and the flavor of shark fin soup comes from other ingredients, the soup is viewed as a delicacy and status symbol by some Asian cultures and is commonly served at weddings and other special events. Traditionally an expensive dish limited to the nobility, shark fin soup is now widely sold to millions of consumers. As economies grow in Asia, a dish once reserved for the elite is now available to many more consumers, and is in demand in China and other Asian communities around the world, including across the United States. This demand is driving sharks to extinction. Learn More About Shark Finning

This petition will be delivered to:

Sponsor: Del. Gregorio Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)


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November 22nd, 2019|