Today, the Maryland House of Delegates held a hearing on a newly introduced bill (HR 393) that would ban the sale, trade, distribution and possession of shark fins throughout the state. The bill, which was introduced by Delegate Eric Luedtke (D-District 14) on February 2, 2012, is similar to pending legislation in Illinois and New York. California, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington have already enacted bills banning the trade of shark fins.
Oceana’s marine scientist Rebecca Greenberg issued the following statement:
“Banning the trade of shark fins would benefit not only sharks, but our oceans and Maryland as well.
While the trade of shark fins remains legal, shark populations will continue to plummet. If Maryland wants to protect its sharks – many of which are commonly found on the international shark fin market – it will support this bill.
This is no longer just a discussion about soup, but the survival of a vital species. The benefits of banning the trade of shark fins in the state greatly outweigh the possible negative impacts.”
To review Greenberg’s written testimony, please click here.
A companion bill (SB 465) was also introduced on February 2, 2012, by Senator Brian Frosh (D-District 16). The bill will go before committee on February 28, 2012.