A bill to end the USA shark fin trade (HR 2811) has been reintroduced by Representatives Sablan and McCaul to pass through the Congress included into the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521). This bill aimed, at bolstering US innovation, passed the House of Representatives on February 4, with several provisions that would benefit wildlife including sharks.
Included in the America COMPETES Act is the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act would prohibit the sale, purchase, and possession of shark fins in the United States. This would remove America from the global shark fin trade and help restore healthy ocean habitats and shark populations. Among other protections including trafficking, provisions supporting marine mammals is the Drift Gillnet and Bycatch Reduction Act.
Urge House and Senate to forward this legislation to President Biden ban the sale and trade of shark fin in the USA.
“The USA facilitates the global decline of sharks through consumption and import/export of unsustainably harvested shark fins. We should be an example to China and the rest of the world by demonstrating that sharks are important to ocean health, and ban the sale and trade of shark fin.”David McGuire, Director Shark Stewards
Progress of Bill
The companion bill has been reintroduced by Senator Cory Booker (D NJ) as Senate bill S 1106. The Senate version passed in June 2021, included as an amendment into the Endless Frontier Act, (S 1260), introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer (D NY). Canada and recently the United Kingdom have passed similar laws that have banned the sale and trade of shark fin and shark fin products.
Senate bill S 1260 passed the Senate on June 8 with a vote of 68- 32 and will be forwarded to the House for consideration. It is time for voters to urge Congress to pass this bill so the USA can become a leader in shark conservation and save domestic and global populations from overfishing.
Fins are the Symptom, Overfishing is the Problem
Globally shark populations are on the decline. A 2020 study found 77% of large species of sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. Sharks are being overfished at an alarming rate, and the shark fin trade is threatening large species of sharks such as blue sharks with extinction. Join Shark Stewards supporting the reintroduction of the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act in 2021.
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. Once 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 the middle class, and is in huge demand among many Asian communities in China and around the world, including across the United States. Although shark finning is illegal in the USA, the sale and trade of fins is still allowed in most US states and shark fins are imported and re-exported thereby contributing to shark finning and other illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of sharks. The trade in shark fin is increasing shark catch, placing more pressure on threatened species and is driving overfishing of many shark species.
Shark Steward’s mission is to restore ocean health by saving sharks from overfishing and the shark fin trade, and protecting critical marine habitat through the establishment of marine protected areas and shark sanctuaries. With your help, we can do it!