We Must End The Shark Fin Trade
The demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats endangering shark populations around the world. As a nation, the United States should NOT participate in international trade of a product that is decimating species and damaging the balance of the oceans.
• 100 million sharks are killed each year. Fins from up to 73 million sharks end up in the shark fin trade.
• 70 percent of the 14 most common shark species involved in the trade are considered at high or very high risk of extinction, according to the IUCN
• Some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent in recent decades due to overfishing
This is not sustainable, nor acceptable.
IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE TAKE ACTION NOW.
Even though the act of finning (removing the fin from a live shark and discarding the body at sea) is banned in US waters, the trade in fins continues. As long as legal fins are allowed, it is impossible to stop the trade of illegal fins and sharks continue to be killed primarily for their valuable fins. Regulations that ban the act of finning, thus requiring sharks to be landed-whole, have not proven effective enough to slow down the trade in shark fins. Legislation to end the trade in States such as Florida, is an important step in our effort to end the trade nationally and internationally.
As businesses and organizations that power the Florida economy, we have a responsibility to sustainably develop our resources. Our tourism and watersports community depends on clean, healthy and vibrant ocean life.
We DO NOT AGREE to be part of a trade that is wiping out some of the most important species in the ocean. Sharks are a key link in future food security and maintaining healthy fish populations, and they are a major attraction for eco-tourism businesses. Direct Expenditures for shark encounters in Florida alone were $221 million in 2016, whereas the total US export of fins was only $1.03 million the previous year. It is time for Florida to join the twelve US States that have already passed legislation to stop the trade of fins.
We respectfully ask the Florida State Legislature to implement a prohibition on the possession, sale and trade of shark fins.
We ask that this measure be implemented in a way that will end the trade of fins in the State once and for all.
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