Landmark bill will ban the shark fin trade in the US

Landmark bill will ban the shark fin trade in the US

The United States Senate recently passed legislation that will ban the shark fin trade, a largely unregulated industry impacting millions of sharks, within the U.S. On Dec. 15, policymakers approved the shark fin trade ban as part of an annual military defense bill, which also includes provisions to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The bill is awaiting President Biden’s signature for the ban to be enacted. Shark fins are mainly in demand for shark fin soup, a luxury dish popular in China, Hong Kong and many other places across Asia. While some shark fisheries harvest fins legally, many do not — it’s often the case that fishers will cut off the fins from sharks and throw the bodies back into the water while the sharks are still alive, a practice widely criticized for ecological and ethical reasons. It’s estimated that fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market yearly. Shark fin soup. Image by Wikipedia / Creative Commons. “This is a monumental and long-awaited win for shark species and marine ecosystems across the globe,” Susan Millward, executive director of the Animal Welfare Institute, said in a statement. “These remarkable apex predators have existed for hundreds of millions of years, yet the global demand for shark fins has contributed to the decimation of shark populations in just a few decades.” Before the Senate passed this legislation, 14 states and three U.S. territories had already banned the sale and possession of shark fins. The…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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