Ban the Sale and Possession of Shark Fins

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk

Target: President Barak Obama

Goal: Ban the possession and sale of shark fins in the U.S.

Sharks have been in existence since before dinosaurs. Now many are nearly extinct due to overfishing and finning. Finning involves cutting off the shark’s fin and leaving its dying body in the ocean to be eaten by other fish. It is estimated that humans kill 100 million sharks each year according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. That is 273,973 sharks each day. These reports, however, are submitted voluntarily.

Back in 2006, scientist Shelley Clark went undercover in Hong Kong to study the trade of shark fins. By gaining the trust of shark fin traders she was able to observe the traders’ protocols. Her study revealed that it is probable that the number of sharks actually killed is three to four times FAO’s reportings.

The U.S. Department of State website claims that they place a high priority on shark conservation. However, they only place prohibitions on finning and do not ban the selling and possession of shark fins. According to The Guardian, eight states and three territories have taken matters into their own hands and have banned the sale and possession of shark fins. These states include California, Washington, Oregon, and Maryland. This number is simply too small. Stricter sanctions should be imposed by our federal government and president. Unless we want to be the species responsible for killing off one of the oldest creatures in Earths history, change must be made.


Dear President Obama,

The actions allowed in our oceans are irresponsible. The mistreatment of a creature that has been around since before the dinosaurs will be a costly consequence to our species. As I’m sure you know, it is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed each year due to overfishing and finning. Finning is referred to cutting the fin off the shark and leaving the body to die in the ocean.

A scientist named Shelley Clark went undercover in the Chinese shark fin industry to reveal that this number may actually be three to four times larger. Currently the U.S. government only prohibits the cruel practice of finning. According to The Guardian, only eight states and three territories have taken the responsibility of banning the sale and possession of shark fins. It is time you take more serious action to protect these magnificent and misunderstood creatures. We cannot allow a species that has existed for 650 million years to go extinct by our negligence. Please impose a nationwide ban on the sale and possession of shark fins.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Cloneofsnake via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Why is it taking so long to stop this cruelty and ban the serving of such soup? This and bullfighting should have long been made illegal. I do not understand why it is so difficult? Why is there no authority strong enough to issue the ban?

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