What is Shark Finning?
It's a terrible practice where fishermen catch sharks and then cut off their fins to later sell.
The fins are popular in a dish known as Sharkfin soup. This is considered to be a delicacy which can sell for up to $100 a bowl in Asian countries.
In 1998, the number of sharks finned in the waters surrounding Hawaii topped 60,000! When is it too much?
Many times the live, injured sharks are simply thrown back into the ocean to die from their traumatic injuries and drowning. Because the fins are just a small percent of the shark, over 95 to 99 percent of each shark is wasted.
It is a very cruel practice and a needless slaughtering.
A battle was won for sharks in December 2001.
The Sun Tong Lok Shark's Fin Restaurants closed their doors! Although mainly due to financial problems, they also claim pressure from environmentalists as reason for the closure. Their doors closed officially on 2 December 2001.
Finning is not just a problem in other countries, but right here in the United States! Hawaii had a problem with shark finning. Then on Thursday, 22 June 2000, Hawaii's Governor Benjamin Cayetano signed a bill banning shark finning in Hawaiian Waters!
More victories came in the US when:
- Thursday, 7 December 2000 The US Senate passed the Shark Finning Prohibition Act (H. R. 5461) This bill was a bipartisan effort which was led by Representative Cunningham (R-CA) in the House; and Senators Kerry (D-MA), Hollings (D-SC), and Snowe
(R-ME) in the Senate. Now this bill will be sent to the President to be signed
into law. Before this bill passed, I wrote in favor of it to my South Dakota
Senators. US Senator, then Majority Leader, Tom Daschle wrote back to me.
- Tuesday, 26 December 2000 US President Bill Clinton signed the Shark Finning Prohibition Bill into Law!
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