Great news for Sharks from US Congress
Picture: Steve Woods
Two US representatives, Gregorio Kilili Sablan (I-MP) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) suggested to review the ban to buy and sell shark fins in the United States in April,2021. A similar legislation was introduced in the last Congress and gained a widespread support of 47 Senate cosponsors.
“We're confident this Congress can get the bill passed,” said Whitney Webber, campaign director at Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation.
Oceana and several conservation organizations urgently call for for widely-supported legislation as new research shows global shark population have dropped to its lowest records. It is extremely important matter as more and more shark species are on a brink of extinction.
“It's rare to find an issue that brings together the political, business and conservation communities. We know the demand for fins is decimating shark populations around the world and this is a clear and easy way to help reduce it. It's time for the US to once again be a leader in shark conservation. We must join our allies in Canada, who have closed their borders to the destructive shark fin trade and do the same in the United States.” advised Whitney Webber.
Due to a massive overfishing, the global oceanic shark and ray population have declined by more than 70% over the last 50 years. Estimated over 73 million sharks are killed and traded in the market every year. This catastrophic situation and life-threatening statistics should be immediately addressed by American politicians.
Nearly 90% of registered American voters oppose the practice of shark finning and almost 80 % support legislation to ban the sale and trade of shark fins in USA based on a recent poll by Oceana.
Shark protection initiatives are already supported by 13 states, more than 45 airlines, 15 major corporations such as Amazon, Hilton and Disney and 22 shipping companies, which have refused to transport or trade shark fins. The national fin ban received a sincere support from nearly 700 businesses, several aquariums and parks, 150 scientists, 150 chefs, 140 fishermen and 85 surf companies across America.
Multiple research works around the world prove that sharks can greatly benefit a local economy. For example, shark diving in Florida in 2016 was more than 200 times the value of shark fin exports for the entire country in the same year. It gave 3,700 jobs with the total economic impact to the state of more than $377 million.