Sharks are a vital part of the oceans’ ecosystems. But 20% of the nearly 550 species of sharks risk extinction, in part because of the cruel appetite for shark fin soup.
Each year, millions of sharks are killed for their fins, considered a delicacy to some, and are often de-finned while still alive and thrown back into the ocean to drown.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has asked for the public to comment on a proposed rule.
The purpose of the proposed rule is to implement the Shark Conservation Act, which is meant to close loopholes in the U.S. ban on shark finning.
The problem is that the federal government may then block states from taking extra steps to prevent the influx of non-regulated shark fins into their states. That could threaten the ability of states to close their market to shark fins–and mean a big step backwards for shark conservation.
The Humane Society of the United States has a petition you can sign. Please tell the Department of Commerce that while you approve the implementation of the Shark Conservation Act, states should have the ability to adopt even stronger measures to minimize their role in providing a market for shark fins.