Coastal Conservation Association has joined forces with leaders in the marine science world to support the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act (HR 5248) as part of the ongoing effort to eliminate the vile practice of shark finning around the world. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, would require any nation seeking to export shark, ray or skate products to the U.S. to receive certification from NOAA that it has management and conservation policies in place comparable to those in the U.S. Furthermore, the exporter must show that there is no overfishing of those species and that a prohibition on shark finning is enacted and enforced.
“We at OCEARCH applaud the support of CCA for this bill, which provides an effective, sensible and science-based solution to end shark finning around the world,” said Chris Fisher, Founding Chairman of OCEARCH. “As an advocate for bringing together diverse stakeholders, OCEARCH is pleased to see CCA join the growing coalition of organizations in support of this bill. With this support, CCA is demonstrating their leadership in promoting the conservation of our precious marine resources in a data-driven, centrist way.”
While the U.S. has policies in place against shark-finning, in which sharks captured with industrial commercial gear like trawls and longlines have just the fins removed before being thrown overboard to a slow death, many countries still turn a blind eye to the practice. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation seeking to close any loopholes that may allow the practice to continue.
“As an apex predator, sharks play a critical role in maintaining the health of the marine ecosystem and we simply cannot afford to allow this egregious and wasteful method of fishing to continue,” said Patrick Murray, president of CCA. “Research shows that sharks travel the globe and need global solutions to ensure their health and sustainability. We greatly appreciate the work of Rep. Webster, Rep. Corey Booker of New Jersey, who is sponsoring similar legislation, and others who are making a difference in this fight.”