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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 23,982
Sponsored by: Oceana

Fins from up to 73 million sharks end up in the global fin trade every year.

Shark finning is a wasteful and inhumane practice in which a shark’s fins are cut off and the body is discarded at sea to drown. While shark finning is illegal in American waters, fins are still bought and sold in the United States.

Add your name now and tell Congress to prohibit the sale and trade of all shark fin products in the U.S.

A nationwide ban on the trade of shark fins is the best way to ensure that the U.S. is not supporting shark finning and protect sharks around the world.

Sign Here

Dear Members of Congress:

I am writing to urge you to support the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016, which would prohibit the sale and trade of shark fins in the United States. Sharks have been on our planet for over 420 million years — 200 million years before dinosaurs walked the Earth. Although sharks have survived major mass extinction events, human activities including overfishing, bycatch and the demand for shark fins now pose the greatest threat to their survival.

In fact, every year, fins from up to 73 million sharks enter the global shark fin trade. Many of these sharks have been finned. Shark finning involves cutting the fins off the body of the shark and saving them for sale, while dumping the body of the shark back into the sea to drown, bleed to death or be eaten alive. This cruel, wasteful practice puts many shark species at risk of extinction.

Although the practice of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, the United States still participates in the shark fin trade. Shark fins continue to be imported into the United States either from countries that do not have similar shark finning restrictions, from sharks finned on the high seas, or from illegal shark finning in U.S. waters. Since 2010, the United States has imported fins from 11 countries, five of which do not have any type of finning ban.

Many of the sharks targeted for their fins have long lifespans, mature slowly, and produce relatively few young, making them especially vulnerable to overexploitation and population loss. In fact, more than 70 percent of the most common species in the fin trade are at a high or very high risk of extinction. Due to the difficulty in identifying shark species based on detached and processed fins, it is easy for threatened species to end up in the shark fin market.

What is equally troubling is that the trade data reported to the FAO does not match NOAA's own fin data. For example, between 2000 and 2011, NOAA reported that, on average, the United States imported 75,000 pounds of fins every year, yet the total number reported as having been exported to the U.S. by the exporting countries was a staggering 580,000 pounds — more than seven times NOAA's amount!

The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, introduced by Senator Booker (D-NJ), Senator Capito (R-WV), Representative Sablan (D-MP) and Representative Royce (R-CA) would create a nationwide prohibition on the trade of shark fins, therefore reinforcing the status of the United States as a leader in shark conservation.

Eleven states and three territories already have passed bills to ban the trade of shark fins — Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Rhode Island, Guam, the North Mariana Islands and American Samoa. A number of leading companies have also banned the selling and shipment of shark fin products, including GrubHub, Amazon, Disney, UPS, American Airlines and Hilton Worldwide. Please join them by supporting the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act.


Petition Signatures

Feb 20, 2017 Teresa Clark
Feb 20, 2017 Thomas Brueckner
Feb 20, 2017 Deanne Nicholson
Feb 20, 2017 Kenneth Budworth
Feb 20, 2017 Rose Rothermel
Feb 19, 2017 Kim Davis
Feb 19, 2017 Sandra DeFazio
Feb 19, 2017 Jean HIXSON
Feb 19, 2017 Eva Duda-Blaj
Feb 19, 2017 Dulcie Camp
Feb 19, 2017 Noreen Newmark
Feb 19, 2017 Marie Hernandes
Feb 18, 2017 Debra Nelligan
Feb 18, 2017 Jennifer Hilsden
Feb 18, 2017 sophie meyer
Feb 18, 2017 Dean OBrien
Feb 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2017 Justin Traverse
Feb 17, 2017 Keli Myers
Feb 17, 2017 Melinda M.Norman
Feb 17, 2017 Suzi Berglund
Feb 17, 2017 M R
Feb 16, 2017 Carol Stout This is the equivalent of cutting off a human beings arms and legs then throwing them in to the water and expecting them to swim. They can't do it so they will drown and die or be eaten by some creature while still alive. This needs to STOP NOW!
Feb 16, 2017 Becky Smith
Feb 16, 2017 rena mostrangeli
Feb 16, 2017 Leslie Scott
Feb 16, 2017 Blagovesta Zlatanova
Feb 16, 2017 Emma Shipp
Feb 16, 2017 Mitzie Harmon Have a heart <3
Feb 15, 2017 anthony fields
Feb 15, 2017 Jennifer Hart
Feb 15, 2017 Edy Soto
Feb 15, 2017 Kathy Nix
Feb 15, 2017 Maritza Patch
Feb 15, 2017 Petter Marthinsen
Feb 15, 2017 Melanie Goodyear
Feb 15, 2017 Patrice MALEVILLE
Feb 15, 2017 Cynthia Feezell
Feb 14, 2017 Boris Rappoport
Feb 14, 2017 Dharma Best
Feb 14, 2017 Tori Apodaca
Feb 14, 2017 Misato Yamada
Feb 14, 2017 Heidi Moschetti
Feb 14, 2017 Wilma Sieczkowski
Feb 14, 2017 Elona Ertner
Feb 14, 2017 Sara Lazarus
Feb 14, 2017 Lynn Ronconi
Feb 14, 2017 Susan Francis
Feb 14, 2017 Kimberly Hum
Feb 14, 2017 Ceasar Bern

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