House votes to protect sharks

Nov 25, 2019
House votes to protect sharks

Following the example of the Northern Marianas and 14 other U.S. states and territories, the House approved my legislation on Wednesday to ban the buying and selling shark fins nationwide. The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2019, co-led by Rep. Michael McCaul of (R-TX), garnered 287 cosponsors – easily the largest number for an ocean conservation bill this Congress. The global shark fin trade contributes to the loss of up to 73 million sharks each year, and largely due to the demand for fins, some species have declined by 90 percent. As apex predators, sharks play a pivotal role in the health of our oceans. They are also important to the economies of many coastal communities. While it is already illegal to harvest sharks solely for their fins in the U.S., fins can still be bought and sold in areas without bans, keeping our country a player in the international fin trade. H.R. 737 would put an end to that and help protect these majestic creatures from the threat of extinction. The bill now goes to the Senate which has companion legislation, S. 877, co-led by Senators Booker and Capito with 37 cosponsors.