The Beacon

Blog Tags: Shark Finning

Spiny Dogfish Catch a Break—No More Shark Finning in the U.S.!

Shark finning for spiny dogfish has been prohibited in the U.S.

A spiny dogfish (Squalis acanthias) in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. (Photo: NOAA’s National Ocean Service / Flickr Creative Commons)

Did you know that shark finning is still allowed in the U.S.?  Despite the finning prohibition ushered in by the 2010 Shark Conservation Act, some east coast states were still allowing fishermen to fin spiny dogfish sharks at sea as long as the removed fins did not weigh more than five percent of the bodies onboard the vessel.


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Ocean Roundup: California Sea Lions Eating Contaminated Mussels, Offshore Fracking Expanding in Gulf of Mexico, and More

California sea lions are eating contaminated freshwater mussels

California sea lions are said to be consuming contaminated shellfish. (Photo: phoca2004 / Flickr Creative Commons) 

- New research found that over half of vessels involved in the biggest oil spills over the past 30 years hail from nations that tend to not comply with international safety and environmental regulation standards. The researchers also found that about one-third of current oil tankers on the water are from these nations, too. ScienceDaily


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Shark Fin Sales in China Show Promising Signs of Decline, Says Report

Interest in shark fins in China may be dropping according to WildAid

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharinus longimanus), a species commonly harvested for the shark fin trade. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

Shark fin soup was once a delicacy in Asian nations reserved for the upper class, but in recent years, has become more readily available to both upper and middle classes. Now common at weddings, banquets, and business meetings, China has emerged as a nation with the largest market for shark fin sales.


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Hammerhead Shark Management Should Reflect Unique Evolutionary Traits, Scientists Say

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini)

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). (Photo: Oceana / Rob Stewart)

Known for their mallet-shaped heads, hammerhead sharks are one of the most easily recognized—and favored—shark species. Their “hammers” give them a widened-view to scan for food, and they have enhanced sensory organs that can detect electrical fields from their prey. If that doesn’t make hammerheads cool enough, they can grow to incredible sizes—reaching 20 feet in length and weighing up to 1,000 pounds.


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Whale Shark Slaughterhouse Discovered in China

(All photos: WildLifeRisk)

Warning: This post discusses a graphic subject, and some photos might be upsetting to readers. 

Sharks are still in danger, not just in the U.S. but around the world. WildLifeRisk, a Hong Kong-based conservation group, has recently revealed the world’s largest shark slaughterhouse, which processes hundreds of shark carcasses every year to provide oil for health and cosmetic products, meat and fins for restaurants, and skins for handbags.


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Four reasons to be thankful for Oceana supporters

Original photo © OCEANA/Carlos Minguell | Jewel anemones (Corynactis viridis). Gunboat wreck, Portimão, Algarve, Portugal.

We’d like to send out a great big “Thank you” to all of our activists and supporters this Thanksgiving.

Oceana’s grassroots activists have taken action over 600,000 times this year—sending letters, calling legislators, joining demonstrations—and all this hard work has led to some amazing victories.

Oceana can only win protections for ocean creatures and ecosystems because of our supporters. Here are some of the victories they helped win this year:


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Second-Biggest Shark-Catching Country in World BANS SHARK FINNING

This 2010 map shows the top 20 countries annual shark catch worldwide. India, ranking #2, has moved to ban shark finning throughout the country and its waters. l Image: FAO Fisheries Department

“This news is big, and we are absolutely thrilled to share it with you – India has moved to outlaw shark finning! India ranks second only to Indonesia in terms of the number of sharks caught each year, so this ban is a major victory for ever-dwindling shark populations.

The brutal practice of shark finning involves slicing off a shark’s fins, often while the shark is still alive, then tossing the shark back into the water to drown or bleed to death. Shark meat is far less valuable than their fins, which means that their bodies take up precious cargo space, creating an incentive to only keep the most valuable parts and allowing more sharks to be caught on each trip.  The United States and European Union have already banned the practice of shark finning in their respective waters


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BIG NEWS for the Big Apple: NY Bans Shark Fin Trade!

With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature today, New York joins Maryland and Delaware as the third state on the East Coast to ban the sale, trade, distribution and possession of shark fins throughout the state, and the eighth state in the nation to adopt the ban. Every state that passes similar laws moves our country closer to shutting down the U.S. market for shark fin soup. This newly minted victory is already threatened, however, by proposals by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to block these important measures.


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VICTORY: European Union Bans All Shark Finning!

© Oceana/Carlos Suarez

We at Oceana are thrilled to share this news with you – the European Union (EU) has just officially adopted a strict ban on shark finning! Saturday ended nearly a decade of battle to close several enforcement loopholes that had permitted some forms of shark finning. Finning has technically been prohibited in the EU since 2003, but an exemption allowed Member States to issue special permits for fishing vessels to remove shark fins on board. In particular, an exemption used by Spain and Portugal allowed some vessels to remove sharks’ fins at sea, which made it nearly impossible to detect and monitor the finning that was occurring.


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"Snuffy the Seal": Offensive or Effective?

Whether this was your first or fiftieth time watching the Discovery Channel’s viral Shark Week ad, “Snuffy the Seal,” the video is sure to have caught your attention. The ad has been called “polarizing,” “controversial,” and even “horrifying.” Loved or hated, there’s no doubt that the video is effective – mere minutes after the promo aired, “Snuffy the Seal,” was a trending topic on Twitter, and dozens of news articles have been written in the days since its release on the ad’s effectiveness and shock value.


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