In March, the federal Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act (S. 793/ H.R. 1456) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and in the House by Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (I- MP). If passed, the bill would ban the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States – thereby removing the United States from the global shark fin trade altogether. This bill would make it illegal to possess, buy, or sell shark fins or any product containing shark fins.
“Every year, it is estimated fins from as many as 70 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade,” Senator Booker said. “Shark finning is pushing some species of sharks to the brink of extinction. With this bipartisan measure, America can become a global leader by shutting down the domestic market for shark fins. Sharks play a pivotal role in marine ecosystems, and we must do more to protect them.”
Chairman Royce has stated that, “The United States can set an example for the rest of the world by shutting down its market for shark fins, which are often harvested by leaving these animals to die a slow and painful death at the bottom of the ocean. There are still 39 states where the purchase of shark fins is legal. The bipartisan Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act is needed to eradicate shark finning for good.”
The demand for fins, the key ingredient in shark fin soup, is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world and more than 70 percent of the most common shark species involved with the fin trade are considered at high or very high risk of extinction. While shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins continue to be bought and sold throughout the U.S. The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act curbs the market for shark fins by making it unlawful to possess, sell or buy fins anywhere in the US.
We strongly urge you to call your elected representatives in Congress and share how this bill could protect the shark population as well as how your business and the recreational diving industry are made stronger by divers’ ability to see these creatures in the wild. Your message to your elected officials should be personalized and we encourage you to add details about the work of your organization and how this bill would impact your company and the citizens you serve.
PADI® is supporting this bill and asks all U.S. members to join us by calling your members of Congress and asking them to vote for the passage of this important piece of legislation. In addition to calling, you can click here to send their office a note.
PADI will continue to work toward supporting this bill and share updates on this issue as they become available. As part of PADI’s Four Pillars of Change, we have committed to helping protect marine life biodiversity by elevating our voices on shark and ray conservation. #padi4change