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Florida Businesses Support Shark Fin Legislation

 

All around the world, we are witnessing the drastic decline of shark populations with one of the biggest offenders being the global trade of shark fins. Scientists estimate that up to 100 million sharks are killed annually with the primary driver being the value of their fins in the global trade.

Sharks are keystone species in the complicated and finely tuned ecosystem that is our oceans. The job they do so perfectly as highly evolved predators through millions of years of evolution cannot be replaced by any other animal, technology, or human practice. Without our top predators, we risk

losing the ecosystem balance that maintains our healthy reefs, productive fishing, and water quality.

Additionally, sharks and rays, alive, are important attractions in the tourism industry as renewable resources for businesses and livelihoods. One shark can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in tourism income over their lifetime in comparison to the one-time profit from a shark killed for its fins.

These factors affect every individual and every business, and ultimately our economy. A sustainable future must include an approach that values and protects sharks. We see many threats to shark populations and some may take years to address. However, there is an action we can take immediately –- addressing our involvement in the unsustainable global shark fin

trade. Every State should ensure they do not participate in or enable this trade in any way. Florida leadership can be the key to advancing the global efforts to save sharks from extinction.


We, the undersigned, support legislation in the State of Florida to prohibit the sale and trade of shark fins and ray parts and we ask our leadership in the Senate and the House for their support.