Sustainable Shark Alliance register’s to lobby with the sole goal of defeating the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act

Cory BookerThe bill, sponsored by Sen. -Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Del. Gregorio Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands), seeks to expand on Congress’s ban on shark finning, in which fishermen cut off the fish’s fin and return it to the ocean, usually to die. Supporters say finning is cruel and has decimated populations of shark species, including endangered ones. The bill has dozens of co-sponsors, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski. It was introduced at a news conference with actor Morgan Freeman. But the shark industry, which supports the ban on finning, says the bill would shut down much of the industry. Domestic fisherman use more than just the fin, but the fin — usually exported to China for use in soup and other culinary purposes — represents about half the monetary value of the fish, said Shaun Gehan, the lobbyist for the ad-hoc coalition. “This bill simply takes the U.S. fisherman and pretty much puts him out of business, only to reward our small portion of the international market to the bad actors,” said Shaun Gehan, who estimated that U.S. fishermen fulfill about 3 percent of the international market for shark fins. Read the story here 09:04

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