Ban Shark Fin Trading
Join Us in Helping to Pass Federal Legislation Banning Trade in Shark Fins
Federal legislation is ready for a vote to ban the trade in shark fins. The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016, introduced by Senator Booker (D-NJ), and Representative Sablan (D-MP) would create a nationwide prohibition on the trade of shark fins. Every year, fins from up to 73 million sharks enter the global shark fin trade. Although the practice of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, the United States still participates in the shark fin trade since shark fins continue to be imported into the United States either from countries that do not have similar shark finning restrictions, from sharks finned on the high seas, or from illegal shark finning in U.S. waters. Since 2010, the United States has imported fins from 11 countries, five of which do not have any type of finning ban.
More than 70 percent of the most common species in the shark fin trade are at a high or very high risk of extinction. Due to the difficulty of identifying shark species based on detached and processed fins, it is easy for threatened species to end up in the shark fin market. What is equally troubling is that the trade data reported to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations does not match NOAA’s own fin data. For example, between 2000 and 2011, NOAA reported that, on average, the United States imported 75,000 pounds of fins every year, yet the total number reported as having been exported to the U.S. by the exporting countries was a staggering 580,000 pounds —more than seven times NOAA’s amount.
Did you know that up to 73 million sharks a year are killed for the ecologically damaging fin trade, and now a quarter of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction? Urge your U.S. Senators to support the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act.