New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a law prohibiting the sale and trade of shark fins, making it the 14th U.S. state to enact legislation to limit or ban the trade.
“With the Governor’s signature, New Jersey has been removed from the global shark fin trade market and sends a clear signal that New Jerseyans will not tolerate cruel and wasteful shark finning,” said Brian R. Hackett, New Jersey state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We thank Governor Murphy for his support, and thank bill sponsors Assemblymembers Raj Mukherji, Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato, and Senators Troy Singleton and Kip Bateman for their leadership to protect sharks.”
While the United States already bans the act of finning sharks – cutting the fins off live sharks and throwing them back into the water to die slowly from shock, blood loss, starvation or predation – federal law doesn’t prevent the sales of fins once they’re brought onto land. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed globally for their fins each year, most often to be used for shark fin soup. A quarter of all ray and shark species are now threatened with extinction.
The Assembly voted 54 to 19 in November, following a Senate vote of 33 to six earlier in the legislative session, aligning with a majority of Garden State citizens polled in a recent survey that said they would support a prohibition on the sale, possession and trade of shark fins.