by Countable | 12.5.18
Fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically in recent years, driven largely by demand for shark-fin soup in China and some other Asian countries, where it’s considered a delicacy.
According to a recent study, global shark catches have doubled in 60 years, and overexploitation now threatens almost 60 percent of shark species. Only 12 percent of shark fisheries in the world are sustainable.
The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017 would make it illegal to possess, trade, distribute, sell, or purchase shark fins in the U.S., and would prohibit their import or export.
According to a report by marine conservation group Oceana, a nationwide ban on the trade of shark fins would reduce the international fin trade, improve enforcement of the current finning ban, and reinforce the status of the U.S. as a leader in shark conservation.
However, some marine biologists believe that such a ban would have the opposite effect, and could set shark conservation back decades. They argue that banning all trade in shark fins would damage sustainable, well-managed shark fisheries in the U.S., create unnecessary waste, and have little impact on the global market for shark fins.
Shark fins are by far the most commercially valuable part of the shark. If they are banned altogether, the argument goes, responsible shark fishers would have to catch more sharks overall in order to make up for the financial shortfall from banned fin sales.
Last month, European fishing nations agreed to adopt a proposal to strengthen a regional ban on shark finning. The policy requires that all sharks landed must be brought to shore with their fins naturally attached to their bodies, and vice versa.
The Shark Trust supports this Fins Naturally Attached requirement, not only because it conserves shark populations, but also because it’s easy to enforce.
Should Congress pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017? Should it pursue an alternative model that requires landed sharks’ bodies to be intact? Why or why not? Tell your reps what you think, then share your thoughts below.
—Sara E. Murphy
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Velvetfish)
Written by Countable
I can’t believe this is a real question. Here... lemme cut your arms off and sell them. Does that sound like something you want done to you? No? Then don’t do it to other animals.
The logic behind voting "Yes" is...what? That this time prohibition will work? This time it won't create a black market populated by unsavory and violent criminals? This time we're going to get the policy just right and there won't be any "totally unexpected" negative side effects? Learn the lesson.
Not certain. Let’s ask the sharks?
Stop the carnage! We don’t need shark fin soup. The shark has been so maligned! We are destroying our oceans.....stop the madness!
Killing any animal for this kind of thing should be outlawed. Especially sharks who get a bad wrap - PEOPLE GET in the SHARK’S SPACE AND THEN BLAME THE SHARK. CRAZY!!! BAN KILLING SHARKS FOR THEIR FINS. IT’S DISGUSTING!!!!
I understand where both sides are coming from, but I think that the alternative option would be best. Or they could make every shark fin tagged so you can only trade the legal find.
There is a ban on rhino horns and elephant tusks. See what the ban does for them.
Sharks are endangered by people taking fins causing bleeding and their death. Unless there is a way of removing safely it should be banned as people think bravery is murdering animals at a distance where they have no chance. Recently. Wolf was killed legally by a trophy hunter because he left the safety area of Park. What is the purpose of allowing these cowardly trophy hunters? Let them only use bows and arrows on those that are for food or need to be thinned out. Let them live in peace
We’re gonna destroy them out of existence
The argument that fishers of sharks would have to then catch MORE sharks if "finning" (sp?) is banned does not fly. Yes, these companies can probably make more money by this heinous practice 'cause they then don't have to process the whole shark....but it is a despicable act and it wastes what else these fishers glean from the entire shark. In short....MONEY should NOT be the deciding factor in whether a despicable, inhumane act should be allowed.
We can continue to pass laws on everything and they will not address the root cause of the issues. There are specific groups of human beings that exploit every resource, every person, every ecosystem, anything and everything for profits and greed, regardless of considerations for life, or causing pollution, or health problems, or negative impacts to all of the above. If we can address the root cause of all of this, we can start living and stop expending all of our time and resources on stopping all of these negatives. The root cause may be Conservatism. It extends across all race, nationalities, religions, sex, and creed. It has no empathy, no compassion, no ethics, no morals. It only seeks benefits out for itself. Conservatism kills! Let’s save the planet and end Conservatism.
Eliminate shark fisherman. This is an unnecessary waste to satisfy idiots that want something exotic to eat. Maybe they should try something sustainable like normal people.
Yes! Save the sharks
If you really want to stop people from doing something, then banning it doesn’t work. Black markets will just pop up every where. Best course of action is to make it legal and regulate it to such an insane level that people will be turned off at the idea of doing that.
Let's consider WHY sharks are being killed for their fins. Asian Men thinking shark's fins will help with Erectile Dysfunction, same with rhinoceros horns. Put the ban ON immediately and start sending Asain countries Viagra! Help God's creatures (except the Asain men) It's disgusting, like the President.
Why is this a question?
Sharks have been decimated by uncontrolled shark fishing. As an important part of the oceans environment the systematic elimination of sharks has unbalanced the oceans. As shark in general is not considered a food source except by China which uses the fibers in its fins as a source of texture in soup. Remarkably the fiber has no taste whatsoever and is merely crunchy. It seems a huge waste to kill a shark for crunchy chicken soup.
Yes I support this bill
Another waste of time, and Our Tax Dollars.
Someone has to speak for the voiceless! We have to be serious about punishment for people who break these laws. Why can’t the charge of murder be applied to animals as well?