Victory | December 23, 2022
Shark Fin Trade Banned in the United States
The United States Congress passed a law to ban the buying and selling of shark fins, following significant campaigning by Oceana and our allies. This victory officially removes the U.S. from the unsustainable global shark fin trade, where fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up each year. Just as rhino and elephant populations have declined due to the demand for their horns and tusks, the shark fin trade is jeopardizing the continued survival of many shark species. Global oceanic shark and ray populations have declined by more than 70% over the last 50 years, with overfishing as the primary cause. Oceanic whitetip sharks, great hammerheads, and scalloped hammerheads have declined globally to critically endangered levels according to the IUCN. The demand for shark fins incentivizes overfishing and shark finning, which the U.S. has banned for years, the cruel and wasteful practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and throwing its body back overboard where it drowns, starves to death, or is eaten alive by other fish. By making it illegal to buy or sell shark fins in the U.S., Oceana and our allies helped bring the world one step closer to ending the devastating global shark fin trade.