Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Commend governor for ending shark fin trade in New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has signed a law to make it illegal to own, trade, sell, or distribute shark fins. The law takes affect on July 1st, 2014. Violations are worth up to 15 days in jail and a $100 fine for each shark. New York is one of the largest markets outside of Asia and the largest port of entry for shark fins on the East Coast. It joins seven states and all three Pacific U.S territories in passing similar laws to provide critical protection to sharks and preserve the health of the world’s ocean ecosystems.
Senator Mark Grisanti said: “I am proud to be the Senate sponsor of [the law], prohibiting the possession, sale, and trade of shark fin in New York. The decimation of the shark population is a serious concern as it has a detrimental trickle-down effect for the entire oceanic food chain. With the shark population in serious peril, and other countries and states passing legislation to protect sharks, New York should be a leader in extending protection to these magnificent animals.”
The trade is spurred by the demand for shark fin soup, an expensive Chinese delicacy and status symbol commonly served at banquets and other celebrations. Up to 73 million sharks are used to make shark fin soup each year. In March 2013, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species listed certain shark species on Appendix II – the first time shark species with high commercial value have been granted such protections in the 40-year history of the convention. But conservation, fisheries enforcement and a shark finning ban in the U.S. alone are not enough to conserve sharks. A ban on shark fin products is the most effective way to eliminate the demand for shark fins and to eradicate shark finning around the world. Commend Governor Andrew Cuomo for passing this law to protect sharks.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Thank you for passing a law to protect sharks and end the shark fin trade in your state. Up to 73 million sharks are used to make shark fin soup every year, and with the passing of this law, your state will no longer be a part of that. With this law, you protect sharks from being killed for their fins.
New York’s contribution to shark conservation is especially important because it is the largest port of entry for shark fins on the East Coast. With the passage of this law, you have greatly decreased the amount of shark fin trafficking going on. I commend you in your effort to protect sharks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Albert kok via Wikimedia Commons