House Passes Shark Fin Trade Ban
I am proud to announce the House of Representatives voted Thursday afternoon to pass legislation, introduced by the Environment Committee this session to prohibit the trade of shark fins in Connecticut to protect the rapidly declining shark population.
Under the bill, violators will be charged with a class C misdemeanor.
We introduced this bill to protect vulnerable populations of shark, which have been declining due to overfishing of our oceans, pollution, and to further discourage shark finning. It also closes a loophole in federal law, which provides exemptions.
This process, popular across the globe, involves removing fins from captured sharks and discarding the body back into the ocean. When the fin is removed, the shark is thrown back into the ocean, and dies from suffocation or blood loss.
By penalizing the shark fin sale and trade, we hope to reduce the demand for shark fins so that we may save this unique marine species.
Humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks annually, and the shark fin trade is a large motivating factor. Due to overharvesting and other environmental factors related to pollution, approximately a quarter of all shark species are threatened with extinction.
“This bill would have minimal impact on CT fisheries. In 2017, shark landings accounted for well under 1 percent (0.12 percent) of all landed species, and shark fins are neither imported nor exported directly through CT ports,” said Annie Hornish, CT State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Further, fins sold in the U.S. can come from not only sharks who were finned, but from endangered or threatened sharks; there must be no exemptions because there is no practical way to track the origin of the fins to ensure they are coming from legal and sustainable fisheries.”
If adopted, Connecticut would join 13 states, plus three U.S. territories in enacting legislation prohibiting the shark fin bill.