March 16, 2015
New Jersey Moves Ban on Shark Fin Trade
State Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Sharks and Oceans
The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill to ban the trade, sale and distribution of shark fin products. The bipartisan state legislation, S.2057, was introduced under the leadership of Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Sen. Kip Bateman and passed out of the full senate by a vote of 28-10. The bill must now pass through the Assembly.
Shark fins are often taken through a practice known as shark finning, which involves cutting the fins off of sharks and then throwing the sharks back into the ocean, often while still alive.
Sen. Raymond Lesniak said: "I am proud to sponsor this bill in support of a ban on the sale and distribution of shark fins. We must do our part to put an end to the shark fin trade before it is too late. Our state must not be complicit in the practice of shark finning, which has led to the extinction of shark populations around the world and wreaks havoc on our entire oceanic system.”
Sen. Kip Bateman said: “Eliminating the market for shark fins is crucial to shark protection and I hope that one day we will be celebrating the end of this industry all together."
Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said “New Jersey has taken action to protect other threatened and endangered species such as elephants, now we’re on our way to protecting sharks and helping to end the cruelty of shark finning worldwide.”
California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands have enacted similar laws in recent years. The trade is spurred by the demand for shark fin soup, an expensive Chinese delicacy and status symbol commonly served at banquets and other celebrations.
- The fins from up to 73 million sharks are used to make shark fin soup each year.
- In 2011, President Obama signed the Shark Conservation Act to strengthen the federal law against shark finning at sea and require that sharks be landed with their fins still attached.
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