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Why This Matters: Shark finning is banned in the U.S., but it is not illegal to buy and sell their fins here or even to sell the soup in restaurants in some states (it is banned in others). Congress has before it a proposal to ban their sale here, but the fishing industry has pushed back because they are concerned that it will lead to a total ban in shark fishing in the U.S. The heinous practice of shark finning has led to massive declines in shark populations around the world — 73 million sharks are caught each year mostly for their fins and nearly 60% of shark species are threatened with extinction. The loophole in the law permitting the sale of fins in the U.S. ought to be closed because otherwise there will continue to be black market sales here.
The U.S. Fin Sale Loophole
“The United States plays a key role as an international transit hub for shark fins,” Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, told CBS News.CNN reported that according to the wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, the average price for shark fins are ($99 USD – 591/kg) in Hong Kong, and ($28 USD – 419/kg) in China. And at Chinese restaurants, a shark fin lunch can cost around $80 Hong Kong dollars ($11 to $12 USD), while upscale places charge up to $1,200 Hong Kong dollars ($160 USD). The shark fin trade has doubled in Hong Kong since 1960, making it the “world’s biggest shark trading hub.” Most often, shark fin smugglers cut the fins from live animals before dumping the bodies back into the water where the sharks then suffocate or bleed to death — they throw the biggest part back because hauling back and selling the whole animal is not efficient since the fin is the expensive part. Sharks caught in U.S. waters are required to be “landed” or brought into port with their fins attached.According to Oceana, the proposed legislation would ban the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins in the U.S.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor According to the Australian Koala Foundation, 30% of the nation’s Koalas have been lost to drought, bushfires, and logging in just three years. The population has dropped to 58,000 from more than 80,000 in 2018, and no regions saw positive population growth. These findings arrive just days after the […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The maned wolf is certainly a unique animal, with long legs, massive ears, and bright red fur. Many might compare it to a fox, but it’s actually South America’s largest canid species. And not only is the maned wolf elusive — it’s endangered. Researchers working with Rewilding Argentina and […]
Today is International Red Panda Day! These iconic and adorable creatures are worth celebrating for many reasons, but they’re also in need of serious protection. This cat-sized, fluffy-tailed animal is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Climate change and rising temperatures are reducing the red panda’s […]
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