Oceana Aims To End The Trade Of Shark Fins Starting In Miami

Oceana urges the citizens of Miami to call local representatives to push the complete ban of sale and trade of shark fins. Credit: Ballyhoo Media/Oceana

Shark fin soup, one of the most grotesque foods on our planet, continues to drive shark populations down as the demand for the soup continues to rise. 

Every year, tens of millions of sharks end up killed due to the fin trade. Often, fishermen catch the marine animal, chop of their fin to collect and throw the whole of the dying or dead shark back into the sea. 

The practice, known as shark finning, is banned in the waters of the United States and has been since 2000. The craziest part, the trade and selling of legally caught fins is still legal in most of the country creating a huge loophole and making it very difficult for authorities to say whether a fin is legal or not. Due to this, thousands of pounds of fins are being imported into the United States every year with Miami being the capital of shark fin importation. 

Since 2015, Miami has led the nation in the number of shark fins with a large portion imported from Hong Kong. The finding was a result of a review performed by the nonprofit Ocean which highlights the very negative spotlight being brought upon Miami and Florida.

Currently twelve states have banned the trade of shark fins, but there currently a proposal going through Congress that could potentially make it illegal in all states. The bipartisan proposal has already passed in the senate but remains to be passed in the House. The bill would make it illegal to possess, buy, sell or transport shark fins or any product contain shark fins, a necessary law if the US is to take the next step in shark and ocean conservation. 

To push this bill through, Oceana is doing every thing they can including the creative but powerful idea of using a marketing tool right on the waters of South Beach in Miami. 

With the assistance of Ballyhoo Media, the conservation group has taken to the Atlantic waters with the assistance of boats with built-in billboard advertisements to catch the attention of Miami residents. The goal? To ask everyone in Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s district to take action by calling her office to ask that she co-sponsor this bill that is pivotal to shark conservation. 

Credit: Ballyhoo Media/Oceana

If you do live in the Miami district, please contact Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen at (305) 668-2285 and/or email christopher.ferrer@mail.house.gov. If you live outside of the district, please call and/or send an email to your representative. 

The importance of sharks cannot be overstated due to them being a keystone species. Sharks are at the top of the food chain in virtually every part of the planets oceans. In that role, they keep populations of other fish healthy and in proper proportion for their eco-system.

In a letter to Congress last year, more than 100 marine scientists wrote in support of the bill and noted that the exploitation of shark populations has rapidly escalated in recent years. They also added that , “conservative estimates suggest that fins from between 27 and 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year. As a result, sharks and their relatives are now one of the most endangered groups of animals in the ocean.”

One Comment on “Oceana Aims To End The Trade Of Shark Fins Starting In Miami”

  1. Love the message and will make the call but please remove photo of the “Billboard on a boat”. Please, it offends the eye and encourages others to use floating billboards. It is a bad way to get the message out.

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