Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year -- mainly for their fins, which are used in the Asian delicacy shark fin soup. In the wasteful practice of "shark finning," fishermen slice off the valuable fins of the shark and discard the bodies at sea, where the sharks slowly die.
Shark finning is banned in U.S. waters, but it still affects shark populations worldwide. Many sharks now face extinction.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to save sharks in one more part of the world: Guam. But we must act now!
A new bill would ban the sale and possession of shark fins in Guam, greatly deterring motivation to practice shark finning in the area. The deadline to take action is March 15.
Ask Guam Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio to support this bill and help save the world's sharks!
Update: The bill has passed the Senate, now we just need the Lieutenant Governor's signature! Keep signing!
Dear Senator Respicio,
Thank you for introducing Bill No. 44031, which would ban the sale and possession of shark fins in Guam. With the passage of the federal Shark Conservation Act that bans finning in U.S. waters, this bill will help local enforcement and join similar measures passed in Hawaii and Northern Marina Islands.
[Your comments will be inserted here.]
The demand for shark fins, meat, liver oil and other products has driven numerous shark populations to the brink of extinction. The growing demand for the Asian delicacy, shark fin soup, has led to the killing of up to 73 millions sharks a year and is threatening shark populations worldwide. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has assessed that 30% of shark and ray species around the world are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction.
Sharks have been swimming the world's oceans for more than 400 million years. They have survived multiple mass extinctions, but they are not equipped to withstand the threats now posed by humans. Their life history characteristics, such as slow growth, late maturation and production of few offspring, make them vulnerable to overfishing and slow to recover from decline. As a result, shark populations are in trouble globally.
I hope you share my concern about declining shark populations and the health of our oceans. I urge you support Bill No. 44-31 without any weakening amendments.
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