Today, GrubHub, the nation's leading online and mobile food ordering company, announced it will no longer allow restaurants to sell shark fin products through its website and subsidiary websites. It is estimated that 73 million sharks, many of which are vulnerable or even critically endangered species, are killed every year to supply the wasteful demand for shark fin soup. Shark finning involves hacking a shark’s fins off, often while the shark is still alive. The body of the shark is then thrown back into the ocean, only to drown, starve or die a slow death.
Although the practice of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, fins can still be bought and sold in many U.S. states. These fins often come from unsustainable foreign fisheries in countries that have ineffective shark finning bans, contributing to the global trend of declining shark populations, which scientists have estimated to be at more than 90 percent for many species.
“Shark finning is a wasteful and inhumane practice that needs to end, and GrubHub has helped to make that happen with this decision. The bottom line is that sharks are worth infinitely more swimming in our oceans than in a bowl of soup,” said Lora Snyder, Oceana campaign director. “With the ability to influence over 35,000 restaurants in 900 cities, GrubHub has shown corporate leadership with this decision. Oceana applauds GrubHub for doing the right thing, and we encourage other businesses to follow their lead.”
Since 2010, 10 states and three U.S. territories have passed laws prohibiting the buying and selling of shark fins within their borders, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington as well as American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. As apex predators, sharks play a critical role in maintaining healthy oceans and balanced food webs, however the global fin trade has thrown many marine ecosystems into jeopardy.
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Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 600,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.