Say No To The Cruel Shark Fin Trade

Shark populations are in crisis due to the global trade in shark fins. Every year, fins from as many as 73 million sharks are traded throughout the world to satisfy the hunger for shark fin soup.

To provide these fins, fishermen often engage in shark finning — a horrific practice in which they cut off sharks' fins, then toss the mutilated animals back into the ocean where they drown, bleed to death, or are eaten alive by other fish. The shark fin trade has also played a major role in the steep decline of shark species worldwide, some populations of which have dropped by as much as 90% in recent decades.

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 737/S. 877, will help reduce this trade by prohibiting the import, export, possession, trade, and distribution of shark fins and products containing shark fins — saving these animals from a devastating fate.

Although shark finning is prohibited in U.S. waters, the country still has a bustling market for shark fins. Consumers in most states can buy them, and we are one of the world's top importers of shark fins as well as a transit point for international shark fin shipments. That means the United States contributes to shark finning and dwindling shark populations elsewhere in the world.

Tell your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators to support H.R. 737/S. 877, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, to stop the trade of shark fins in the United States.
Subject: Please cosponsor H.R. 737/S. 877, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to prohibit the sale of shark fins

Dear Legislator,

As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor and push for the passage of H.R. 737/S. 877, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which will prohibit the import, export, possession, trade, and distribution of shark fins and products containing shark fins.

The United States is one of the biggest players in the international trade of shark fins. Although our country prohibits shark finning -- a horrific practice in which fishermen cut off sharks' fins, then toss the mutilated animals back into the ocean where they drown, bleed to death, or are eaten alive by other fish -- many other countries do not. By participating in this global trade, the United States drives shark finning elsewhere, as well as the decline of shark populations globally.

[Your Comment] Sharks have occupied our oceans for 400 million years, but scientists warn that existing populations cannot sustain the current level of exploitation. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks are traded on the global market annually. From 2000 to 2011, an estimated 16,815 metric tons of shark fins were traded worldwide. Sharks are being killed 30 percent faster than they can reproduce.

By passing this bill and removing our country from the destructive shark fin trade, the United States expands our leadership in global shark conservation and strengthens the current ban on shark finning in U.S. waters.

It is crucial to protect vulnerable shark populations. Please pass H.R. 737/S. 877 to protect our ocean's great creatures.

Thank you.

[Your Name]
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