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UPDATE February 5 2014
February 4, the day after this petition was started, the government announced that the existing state bans were to be left in place after all. Thank you to everybody who signed.
A quarter of all sharks and rays face extinction, with one of the main reasons being slaughter for their fins. Shark finning is also immensely cruel. Often, the fins are sliced off live sharks and the animals tossed back in the water to slowly die.
A ban on the sale of shark fins, usually used for soup, is crucial to shark conservation. Without a market for the fins, shark finning, legal and illegal, wouldn’t exist. Eight states, therefore, have introduced such a ban, among them Washington, California and Hawaii.
It looks like these bans are now going to be overturned by the federal government, all in the name of money, or, as they put it, “trade.” A new regulation is planned to scrap shark fin bans on the feeble grounds that they interfere with the rights of fisheries to sell sharks for meat.
Fisheries should not be killing endangered animals for fins or meat, and the Obama administration should be extending shark protection efforts, not abolishing those that already exist.
Tell the president to stop undermining shark conservation.
We the undersigned ask that you not undermine shark conservation by overturning the bans on the sale of shark fins in eight states.
Almost all the species targeted for their fins are threatened, and several are in danger of extinction. A crucial part of conservation, therefore, is removing the market for those fins. The practice of shark finning is also completely unacceptable on animal welfare grounds.
Overturning existing bans merely to increase the profits of fisheries is a massive step backwards, and not something we would have expected from the Obama administration.
Please see that these bans are not overturned. Further, we ask that you see about introducing similar ones in other states.
Thank you for your attention.