Congressmen Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the CNMI's delegate to Congress and Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas reintroduced the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which bans the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States.
The same bill, introduced by Sablan and McCaul, had strong bipartisan support and passed in the last Congress, but the Senate took no action.
The act of shark finning – cutting off the fin of a shark and then discarding the maimed animal, often still alive, back to sea – is illegal in the United States.
However, these wrongly obtained fins are still imported and exported on American soil, which serves to legitimize the unethical trade chiefly responsible for sharks’ declining populations.
“The gruesome shark-finning practices are eliminating shark populations and putting many species on the brink of extinction,” said McCaul. “Sharks play a vital role in our marine ecosystem, serving as an indicator of the overall health of our ocean. Thus, making this bipartisan legislation that much more important as it will promote conservation and responsible fishing practices that are good for the environment and our economy.”
“The strong, bipartisan support for this legislation sends a clear message that we have to pay more attention to protecting the Earth’s oceans and the life within those oceans,” said Sablan.
“Banning the sale of shark fins to help en