September 30, 2016

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Mission Blue is proud to stand with 80 other NGO’s in support of the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act. On September 22, 2016, the letter below was sent to Congress urging support and passage of this important Act.


Dear Senator/Representative:sharkfinsmacro

We, the undersigned organizations, representing over one million Americans, submit this letter urging Congress to support and
pass the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act (SFTEA) of 2016 (S. 3095/H.R. 5584). Sharks have been swimming in our oceans since before dinosaurs walked the earth. For over 400 million years, they have played a vital role in maintaining healthy oceans, but today, sharks are disappearing as a result of bycatch and overfishing, largely fueled by the shark fin trade. The demand for shark fins has led to the practice of finning – the act of cutting the fins off a shark and discarding its body at sea to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other fish. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year, and more than 70 percent of the most popular species that are found in the Hong Kong trade market face a high or very high threat of extinction.

In 2010, Congress passed the Shark Conservation Act (SCA), making it illegal to fin a shark at sea, transfer any fin from one vessel to another vessel, or land a shark that does not have its fins attached to its body. However, the United States continues to participate in the global shark fin market. In fact, over 85 percent of the fins imported into the United States since 2010 came from countries that are legally allowed to fin sharks. It is impossible to know if a fin in the United States is from a finned shark or a shark that was sustainably caught.

Just as rhino and elephant populations have declined due to the demand for their horns and tusks, shark populations have sharktracemacrodeclined due to the demand for their fins. The United States has banned the trade of rhino horns and ivory but continues to allow the buying and selling of shark fins.

Currently, there are 11 states and three territories that have passed bills banning the trade of shark fins: Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Rhode Island, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. A number of companies have also banned the selling and shipment of shark fin products, including GrubHub, Amazon, Disney, UPS, American Airlines and Hilton Worldwide.

It is time for the U. S. Congress to follow the lead of these states and companies by supporting the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act. Introduced by Senators Booker (NJ) and Capito (WV), and Representatives Sablan (MP) and Royce (CA), the SFTEA would create a nationwide prohibition on the trade of shark fins that would protect sharks, remove the United States from the fin trade, and empower the United States to encourage other countries to do the same.

Sincerely,

The undersigned organizations

  Alaska Wildlife Alliance

  Altamaha Riverkeeper

  American Cetacean Society

  American Littoral Society

  American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

  Animal Welfare Institute

  Aquarium of the Bay

  Assateague Coastal Trust

  Assateague Coastkeeper

  Blue Frontier Campaign

  Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit

  Born Free USA

  Center for a Sustainable Coast

  Center for Aquatic Sciences and Adventure Aquarium

  Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education

  Coastside Fishing Club

  Conservation Council for Hawaii

  Crystal Coast Water Keeper

  Defenders of Wildlife

  Delaware Votes for Animals

  Dolphin Research Center

  Earth Justice

  Endangered Species Coalition

  Environment America

  Environment Florida

  Environment Georgia

  Environment New Jersey

  Environment North Carolina

  Environment Virginia

  Environmental Advocates of New York

  Environmental Investigation Agency

  EPIC

  Fin Free

  Fin Free Florida

  Fin Free Massachusetts

  Food & Water Watch

  Food Empowerment Project

  For the Fishes

 Friends of the Earth

 Greenpeace

 Lobby for Animals

 Marine Conservation Science Institute

 Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

 Matanzas Riverkeeper

 MERR Institute

 Moss Landing Marine Labs

 National Aquarium

 Natural Resources Defense Council

 Northcoast Environmental Center

 Oceana

 Ocean Champions

 Ocean Conservation Research

 Oceanic Preservation Society

 One More Generation

 Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research

 Sandy Hook Sea Life Foundation

 Sea Save Foundation

 SC Coastal Conservation League

 Sea Shepherd

 Shark Angels

 Shark Protect

 Shark Research Institute

 Shark Stewards

 Sierra Club

 Sierra Club- Delaware

 South Carolina Wildlife Federation

 Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue

 The Bay Institute

 The Georgia Conservancy

 Turtle Island Restoration Network

 United Conservationists

 Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper

 Water Keeper Alliance

 Western Nebraska Resources Council

 WildAid

 Wildcoast

 WildEarth Guardians

 World Animal Protection

 World Ocean Observatory

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