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Stop the Federal Government from Undermining State Shark Fin Bans

July 3, 2013
Wikimedia Commons: NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins.

Wikimedia Commons: NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins.

Please act now to send a message to NMFS and share this action broadly!

Source: Sea Turtle Restoration Project

In recent months, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and six other states and territories in the US have banned the possession and sale of shark fins thanks to your support and a growing coalition of ocean advocates. In fact, California’s ban goes into effect today! But now, under the guise of improving protection for sharks, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed a rule that could actually overturn these hard-won state shark fin bans.

In the next week, thousands of people like you must take action to safeguard sharks and defend state shark fin bans. Please act now to send a message to NMFS and share this action broadly!

The Federal Government is Attacking Shark Fin Bans!

The killing of shark for their fin has been on the rise for years. In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Shark Conservation Act (SCA), which bans US fishers from bringing shark fins that are not “naturally attached” to a shark to port. However, this law just shifted shark finning overseas and imports of shark fin rose dramatically. In response, individual states took action to completely ban the possession, sale and trade of all shark fins. Now NMFS wants to strike down these bans to enable more shark killing by US fishermen. Please act by July 8th to fight this terrible rollback of shark protections!

Sharks Are Going Extinct

Sharks are part of a healthy ocean ecosystem, and the billion-dollar shark fin market has driven many of their populations to the brink of extinction. Shark populations have declined 95-99% in areas of the Northeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.  Healthy shark populations are critical to marine ecosystems that support a wide array of wildlife species and nourish human communities as well.

Take action today! Complete these two actions to ensure sharks have a fighting chance:

1) Click here to send a message to NMFS to allow strong shark fin ban laws in US states to be enforced.  Be sure to share the need for action with your friends and networks!

2) Write a personal letter to NMFS to remove wording that would preempt shark fin trade bans in individual states from the Shark Conservation Act. Use our action alert as a template, and submit your letter to Regulations.Gov (select Comment Now on the right).

Sample Letter

I am writing to demand that NMFS to remove any and all provisions in the federal Shark Conservation Act that would preempt or interfere with shark fin laws being implemented in individual States and Territories (RIN:0648-BB54). These state and territorial laws are more protective of sharks and exercise each state’s right to ban the possession, sale, or trade of all shark fins in their jurisdictions.

Each year, up to 100 million sharks are slaughtered across the world’s oceans, many to satisfy increasing demand for luxury shark fin soup. This has led to the brutal practice of shark finning, where sharks are targeted only for their fins, which are removed and the carcasses dumped at sea. This wasteful, unsustainable practice has led to scientists’ growing concern for the long-term viability of shark populations around the world, and to the enactment of legislation in many countries to protect sharks.

The United States Shark Conservation Act of 2010 bans the removal of shark fins at sea by US fishermen, but did little to halt the flood of shark fin imports. Ten US States have gone further by enacting legislation to ban the possession, transport or sale of shark fins within their jurisdiction. These States recognize that reducing demand and availability of shark fins is an integral part of the overall strategy aimed at protecting these species.

State laws banning the sale and transport of shark fins are NOT fishery laws, and therefore do not conflict with fishing in federal waters. They have been passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support and reflect the will of the People within each state. Laws prohibiting the possession, sale and transport of shark fins complement the Shark Protection Act and help to reduce market demand for an unsustainable product derived from an act of animal cruelty.


Thank you!  Together we can fight to save the world’s sharks.

sharks are apex predators
that we need.
without sharks and their protection,
there will be no more seas!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

9 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    July 3, 2013 11:36 am

    sharks are apex predators
    that we need.
    without sharks and their protection,
    there will be no more seas!


  2. July 4, 2013 3:18 am

    Reblogged this on Carinas space.


  3. July 4, 2013 1:59 pm

    Great poem Karen 😉
    Signed petition and shared in several places and also sent comments to gov and shared oin vplaces thanks Stacey Have a great 4th of July everyone



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