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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 29,114
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

Aug 20, 2017 Jeffrey Carey
Aug 20, 2017 Sophia K
Aug 20, 2017 Jessica Jimenez
Aug 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2017 Danuta Watola
Aug 19, 2017 Deborah Zatz
Aug 18, 2017 Kate Pruden
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 Philip Douglas
Aug 18, 2017 Valentina Miletic
Aug 18, 2017 Loree Schuster
Aug 18, 2017 Kathy Johnson
Aug 18, 2017 Jill Fackenthal
Aug 18, 2017 Garth Shook
Aug 18, 2017 Johnna Slocum THAT IS A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE!! Whether it's a shark or a human being. This is just STUPID!! PLEASE STOP?!?!
Aug 18, 2017 Terri Lynn I live near the Gulf in Fla and everyday I see stories of the terrible, disrespectful way wildlife is treated here. If our government doesn't care enough about all of our amazing species to do something about these acts, who will???
Aug 18, 2017 I M Lopez
Aug 18, 2017 Rosemary Bernier
Aug 18, 2017 Pattie Tibbetts
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 Laurel Wilkinson
Aug 18, 2017 Deanna Bialczak
Aug 18, 2017 Morgan MacConaugha-Snyder
Aug 18, 2017 Dallas E. Not only is the cruelty mind boggling, the shear numbers, are mind blowing. My heart breaks for each and every one of these magnificent creatures. The food chain is already broken enough, I feel sorry for future generations.
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 Leonor Rico
Aug 18, 2017 inge nespolon
Aug 18, 2017 Narelle Watson
Aug 18, 2017 Oscar Landé
Aug 18, 2017 Gail Cooper
Aug 18, 2017 susan parrish
Aug 18, 2017 Anita Choate
Aug 18, 2017 Ross Bullard Shark finning is a sick, wasteful practice. Shark fins should be illegal everywhere in the world!!!!
Aug 18, 2017 April Narcisse Please join the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act. Sharks are beautiful animals and a very valuable part of the oceanic ecology. All states should join in on this and get out of the trade of shark fins.
Aug 18, 2017 Dana Vaughn This behavior needs to b stopped before it's too late
Aug 18, 2017 Rochelle Willis
Aug 18, 2017 Diane James I can't imagine anyone condoning this awful practice. Stop the cruelty, PLEASE!!!
Aug 18, 2017 Rita Pesini Earth was created for all life, not just human life. Stop exploiting sharks for greed!
Aug 18, 2017 Tracy Smart Every animal on this planet feels pain and this nonsense of "sport" or "delicacy dining" needs to stop.
Aug 18, 2017 Julia Russo
Aug 18, 2017 Richard Petryk
Aug 18, 2017 Chris Scheiding Please put and end to this horrible practice. Thank you.
Aug 18, 2017 Kathryn Posten
Aug 18, 2017 Sherry Bell Please support the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act - this Finning of the sharks and they don't care what kind - how old, the size the shark is - this is barbaric, cruel - money grabbers - just terrible people to make a living from this horrible cruelty
Aug 18, 2017 Pamela Melander
Aug 18, 2017 kiara curtin
Aug 18, 2017 sandra curtin

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