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Feb 15, 2014

USA: Good news on shark finning

From: Dominique Cano-Stocco, Oceana <wavemaker@oceana.org>
Date: Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 7:14 AM
Subject: Good news on shark finning

Protecting the World's Oceans

Victory: California, Maryland, and Washington shark fin trade bans are safe!

Last week, Oceana was able to celebrate a huge victory for shark conservation worldwide.

During the past two years, eight states and three U.S. territories have taken action to protect sharks by passing laws banning the sale, trade, possession and distribution of shark fins within their state borders.
Last year, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took several actions which jeopardized the future of these bans and threatened shark conservation efforts. In May, NOAA proposed a rule which would have undermined the eight state fin trade bans, claiming the bans might interfere with federal fisheries management by restricting a fisherman's ability to legally catch a shark and sell the fins later. The federal government also joined a lawsuit challenging the California state ban specifically, claiming it would also be preempted by federal law.

Oceana fought back against these actions, and after months of public campaigning and pressure, including a letter of opposition sent to NOAA by more than 24,000 Wavemakers like you, the federal government has finally conceded.
On Tuesday, NOAA sent letters to the state governments in California, Maryland and Washington, confirming that their state fin trade bans are consistent with federal law and will not be overruled.

These state bills are crucial tools in targeting the trade that drives the practice of shark finning, which is responsible for the slaughter of millions of sharks every year around the world. In fact, Oceana estimates that the current shark fin trade bans may curtail shark fin imports into the United States by about 68 percent.

Although NOAA's actions this week mark a victory for sharks, the fin trade bans in the other five states (Hawaii, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Delaware) are still in jeopardy. Oceana will continue to fight for sharks in these states and we hope you will join us.

Dominique Cano-StoccoThank you,
Dominique Cano-Stocco
Campaign Director, Responsible Fishing
Oceana


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