The West Coast shark fin trade bans we celebrated last year may be catching on here on the East Coast.
Maryland lawmakers introduced bills Tuesday in both the House and Senate that would outlaw the sale, trade, distribution or possession of shark fins, with violations punishable by fines ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
As Oceana's Campaign Director Beth Lowell told the Baltimore Sun’s Green blog, there's been no dried shark fin shipped into or out of the port of Baltimore, but U.S. Customs data show exports of shark products, mainly dogfish, exported from Washington and Norfolk.
Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed for their fins, mostly to make shark fin soup. In this wasteful and cruel practice, a shark’s fins are sliced off while at sea and the remainder of the animal is thrown back into the water to die. Without fins, sharks bleed to death, drown, or are eaten by other species.
Shark finning is illegal in the U.S., but fins are imported from countries with weak or nonexistent protections. In recent decades some shark populations have declined by as much as 99%.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this legislation and we’ll be sure to keep you posted!
- Bycatch Spotlight: One of the Biggest Issues Facing Sharks Today Posted Thu, August 14, 2014
- New Report Touts Economic Benefits of Seafood Traceability Posted Mon, August 18, 2014
- Ocean News: Nicaragua Dispatches Military to Protect Baby Turtles, New Zealand Bans Shark Finning, and More Posted Wed, August 20, 2014
- Dusky’s Big Adventure, Day 5: Dusky Asks for Help to Complete His Bucket List Posted Thu, August 14, 2014
- Photos: Leonardo DiCaprio, Other Celebs Fight for Our Oceans at Oceana’s SeaChange Party Posted Mon, August 18, 2014