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Stop the Global Trade of Shark Fins

Stop the Global Trade of Shark Fins

Name: Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act

Bill Number: S 793/HR 1456

The greatest threat to sharks is the global trade in shark fins. Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice in which a fin is sliced off a shark while the shark is alive and conscious. The shark is then tossed back into the ocean where, unable to swim, the shark will suffer a slow and painful death over the course of several days, or be attacked by other predators with no defense. It is estimated that fins from as many as 73,000,000 sharks end up in the global shark fin trade each year. Although the United States has banned the practice of shark finning aboard vessels in waters controlled by the United States, there is no federal ban on the removal and sale of shark fins once the fin is brought ashore. This legislation would prohibit the possession, transportation, sale, or purchase of shark fins or products containing shark fins.

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to support this important piece of legislation.
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Message

Please Put an End to the Cruel Practice of Shark Finning

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for legislation, S793 and HR 1456, which would ban the possession, transportation, sale, or purchase of shark fins or products containing shark fins. Shark finning is the cruel practice in which sharks are captured at sea and their fins are cut off while the shark is alive and conscious. The shark is then thrown back into the water to drown, starve, be attacked by other predators or die a slow death.

In addition to the animal cruelty implications, shark finning has catastrophic effects on shark populations around the world. It is difficult to determine which species of shark a fin was removed from, which is problematic because some species are threatened with extinction. With their slow growth and low reproductive rates, many shark species are endangered due to shark finning, where the greatest profit is made by cutting off fins while at sea without bringing a whole shark to shore for processing as meat.

While federal law already prohibits shark finning in U.S. waters, and while California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington have implemented bans on the sale of shark fins, shark populations continue to decrease because of the legal trade in other states. Once a shark fin is detached from the body it becomes impossible to determine whether the shark was legally caught or the fin lawfully removed. Therefore, only a federal ban on the sale of shark fins will end this practice and protect these animals.

I hope that you will give your full support to the passage of this measure before the end of the current legislative session. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]