AWI Applauds Law to End Shark FinningTuesday, January 4, 2011
AWI and other shark advocates have been pushing for passage of this law - which represents a giant step forward for shark conservation - since it was originally introduced in the House in January 2009 by Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and in the Senate in April by Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Following its passage, Senator Kerry issued a statement: “Shark finning has fueled massive population declines and irreversible disruption of our oceans. Finally we’ve come through with a tough approach to tackle this serious threat to our marine life.”
The Shark Conservation Act will curb the practice of shark finning, by which living sharks’ fins are sliced off and their mutilated bodies thrown back into the ocean, where the sharks endure long, painful deaths. Shark finning kills an estimated 73 million sharks each year, driven by the demand for shark fin soup.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the Shark Finning Prohibition Act, making it unlawful to possess a shark fin in U.S. waters without a corresponding carcass. Loopholes in the ban, however, prevented effective enforcement, and finning continued. As a countermeasure, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued regulations in 2008 mandating that sharks must be landed with fins attached in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, but not the Pacific. The Shark Conservation Act extends this requirement to all U.S. waters, and prohibits the transfer of shark fins at sea.
“Thankfully, now the U.S. has an enforceable finning ban,” said AWI’s president, Cathy Liss. “Requiring that sharks be landed with their fins attached is the only way to truly enforce a prohibition on finning and we hope that other countries will follow suit.”
The law includes an exemption for smooth dogfish sharks, for which a small fishery exists in North Carolina, primarily targeting the fish for meat. The exemption will allow these few fishermen to continue to separate fins of this species from carcasses at sea to conserve space on their boats. These fishermen will be responsible for demonstrating that the fins on their boat belong to the carcasses.
“We applaud President Obama and this bill’s champions for their leadership in passing this landmark law,” Liss added. “Though we are disappointed that the law does not include a blanket ban on the removal of all shark fins at sea, it clearly signals that the U.S. is committed to ending the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning.” Source of this article: http://www.awionline.org/ht/display/ReleaseDetails/i/32967/pid/232
If you know of any others please let them know!
Added Narch 21st 2011:
Support Chinese Legislation to Ban Shark Fins.
Added March 18th 2011:
Petition to Mr Chan Restaurant, South Africa.
Added March 9th 2011:
Senator Leland Yee is opposing bill AB 376, which would ban the shark fin trade in California and it illegal to be in possession of shark fins. Yee is siting the usual spurious "cultural" reasons. Please sign the petition asking Senator Leland Yee to support the bill.
Added January 27th 2011:
Red Chilli Restaurants in the UK Serve a range of Shark Fin dishes. Lets put pressure on them to take it off their menu, thus reducing the demand for shark fins in the UK. Sign here.
Added January 24th 2011:
Mabul Island (Malaysia) is a small island that is being developped for tourism - and guess what - they are finning sharks there. Please sign the petition asking them to ban finning. Sharks are worth more alive than dead. Divers want to see sharks in the ocean, not in a bowl of soup!
Added January 18th 2011:
Petition to ban all shark finning in the EU. This petition is being organised by Global Ocean.