Members of Congress,
I’m emailing today to ask – as your constituent – that you support a federal ban on the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States.
The demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market every year, and more than 70 percent of the 14 most common shark species in the fin trade are considered at high or very high risk of extinction.
Removing the United States from this devastating trade would send a message to the rest of the world: The United States will not stand by while many shark populations continue to decline, largely due to the demand for their fins. And this notion is spreading globally. More than half of international airlines based on seat capacity have banned carrying shark fins. And it’s not only airlines that are taking action -- 17 of the 19 biggest shipping lines measured by container capacity have banned carrying shark fins.
Over 85 surfers, surf businesses and surf publications, over 150 scientists and over 150 chefs have all sent letters to Congress in support of a federal fin ban.
While the U.S. exported under $1 million worth of shark fins in 2016, shark-related dives in Florida alone generated more than $221 million in revenue and fueled over 3,700 jobs that same year, meaning the revenue from Florida shark tourism was over 200 times that of the entire national fin trade.
Finally, although the U.S. has passed a ban on shark finning, we continue to import fins from countries with no protections for sharks. And while 12 states have passed state bans, fins continue to be imported and exported into and out of some of those states. A national ban would help ensure the U.S. no longer participates in the global shark fin trade.
Please support any efforts to ban the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States, which will remove the U.S. from the international fin trade market, improve upon current enforcement capabilities, and reinforce the status of the U.S. as a leader in shark conservation.