Dear Washington State Residents,
We don’t ask for your help all that often, but today public testimony is being taken on a bill to ban the sale and trade of shark fins in Washington State. Shark finning is illegal in US waters, but the sale and trade of shark fins is not. It’s about time we right this wrong. We’ve lost too many sharks. Populations in some areas of the ocean are down more than 90% – almost entirely due to fishing.
May we suggest sending a version of the following:
I would like to join the chorus of informed Washington voices offering unqualified support for SB 5688 Concerning Shark Finning Activities.
One of the world’s most destructive fishing practices is the overfishing of sharks, both as bycatch in fisheries targeted at other species, and in those that focus on catching sharks for their fins.
Sharks, as apex predators in many marine ecosystems, are profoundly important components of biodiversity and crucial contributors to the overall health of the oceans. Despite this, shark populations worldwide are being depleted to serve the shark fin trade. Sharks are unable to overcome this massive over-fishing easily due to their exceptionally slow reproduction and hence capacity to recovery from fishing mortality.
SB 5688 is a very important bill, one which I strongly support. Shark fins are a microscopic source of food for humankind, and do not contribute to food security. But living sharks in the oceans benefit us all.
I urge you to do all in your power to pass this bill.