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Be the Voice Our Sharks Need

Without exaggeration shark finning is an enormous problem. It is estimated that 73-100 million sharks are killed every year for their fins. Considering the crucial role sharks play in our ecosystem, that’s a pretty big problem. However, depopulation of sharks resulting from shark finning is not the only issue here. Saving the sharks would be great, but making the fins unavailable to eat would benefit us humans as well. A 2012 study of fins from seven species of shark found a neurotoxin known as BMAA in 80 percent of 29 samples. The problem, BMAA may be a risk factor for several degenerative brain disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A bill introduced to Congress last month aims to make it illegal to buy or sell shark fins in the United States. A nationwide ban would be a boost for these top predators. Oceana has started a petition to help. While shark finning is illegal in the United States, the sale of shark fins is not. According to Oceana, “the sale of fins is banned in 11 states including California, New York and Hawaii. However, state-level bans do not bar the import of foreign-caught shark products into the United States. And while U.S. fishers have been barred from finning sharks at-sea since 2000, it remains legal in many states to detach and sell the fins once the shark has been brought to shore”. This petition, if heard, will help protect our sharks from this practice.

It’s important we let our representatives know how important this issue is to their constituents. Please be the voice our sharks so desperately need by signing the petition below.

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