Today, Oceana launched a new advertising campaign in the Washington, D.C. Metro system that asks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to “Protect Sharks, Not Shark Finners.”
Earlier this year, NOAA chose to challenge state shark fin bans across the country, suggesting that they might be preempted by federal law. Oceana’s ads, which now appear on the platform of the Silver Spring Metro station (home to NOAA’s offices), read “NOAA: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? Don’t interfere with state shark fin bans. PROTECT SHARKS, NOT SHARK FINNERS!”
“NOAA’s action just doesn’t make sense,” said Dominique Cano-Stocco, campaign director at Oceana. “The state laws are incredibly important. By stopping the trade of shark fins, states are helping to close a loophole in the federal law. NOAA should side with sharks, not shark finners.”
On July 9, Rep. Jared Huffman of California and 61 other Members of Congress wrote to NOAA’s Acting Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, asking the agency to withdraw its attempt to preempt the state shark fin bans. Just this month, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) also wrote to NOAA in support of the state shark fin bans.
For more than a decade, Oceana and other environmental groups have championed shark conservation in the United States. Following the passage of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010, which banned shark finning in U.S. waters, several states – Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois and New York – enacted legislation to further protect sharks by banning the sale, trade, distribution and possession of shark fins.
For more information about Oceana’s campaign to save sharks, please visit www.oceana.org/sharksnotfinners.