Add Your Voice to Save Sharks
Posted July 31, 2013
There’s been amazing progress lately in the global movement to end the shark fin trade --I've posted frequently on the good work being done by states to save sharks. As of today a total of eight states in the U.S. have enacted laws that ban the shark fin trade.
I'm thrilled to report that last week Governor Cuomo signed a bill to ban the trade in my birthstate of New York. With each state that moves forward on policy to protect sharks we are witnessing a real-time turning of the tides. So it really pains me to say that now the National Marine Fisheries Service is threatening to reverse some of our most important gains. Egads!
Today I ask everyone to take action — and make a difference.
All of our hard work will be overturned if the fisheries service adopts a proposed rule declaring that the Federal government, not states, has sole authority to regulate shark fin imports.
This simply sends the wrong message to countries that still target tens of millions of sharks each year just for their fins.
Today is the deadline to tell the National Marine Fisheries Service that we want sharks protected and our state bans on the fin trade to remain in effect.
You can help in three easy steps.
1. Go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “Comment" page and click the “Comment Now" link.
2. Copy the letter below and paste into the Comments box.
3. Enter your name and contact information in the spaces provided then click “Continue”. On the last page you’ll have a chance to review your information before clicking “Submit Comment”.
Please add your voice to save sharks and the good work that has been done in so many local communities by so many dedicated people. Let's make our human interaction with sharks positive & inspiring!
photo © Fred Buyle
Draft Letter: Copy & paste to save the shark fin ban
Fishery Policy Analyst
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East- West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Re: Proposed rule to implement the Shark Conservation Act of 2010—NOAA-NMFS-2012-0092
Dear Ms. Marshall:
I am writing to comment on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) proposed rule to implement the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA). While I support NMFS’ effort to implement the SCA, I disagree with NMFS’ proposal to block states from implementing their own bans on the shark fin trade. This proposal would undermine efforts by U.S. states to protect sharks from the global trade in shark fins.
The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 addressed the landing and possession of shark fins caught in U.S. waters, but it did not directly address the trade in detached shark fins. Most processed shark fins sold in the U.S. are imported, and there is currently no global mechanism to trace shark fins from fisheries to markets. Thus, it is nearly impossible to determine whether a shark fin comes from a federally-managed legal fishery or was imported from an area with little or no regulation of shark-finning.
Over the past several years, several U.S. states, including California and New York, have enacted laws to address this gap in shark conservation by prohibiting the trade in fins. These laws are an important part of the global movement to reduce demand for shark fins, end the shark fin trade, and to protect sharks around the world.
NMFS’ proposal to block these bans would take away this tool and send the wrong message to countries that continue to target sharks for their fins.
If the U.S. is going to fully address the shark fin trade and continue to lead the world in shark conservation, we must allow states to regulate shark fins. Please preserve states’ rights to protect sharks by withdrawing all language in the proposed rule that would prevent states from banning the trade in shark fins. Thank you for considering my comments on this important matter.
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