26 Jan 2019

CNMI congressman pushes shark fin ban

10:19 am on 26 January 2019

A bill to outlaw the sale of shark fins in the US has been reintroduced by the Northern Marianas delegate to the United States Congress.

Shark fins found in the freezer of the Shuen De Ching No.888. In total there were sacks containing 75 kilograms of shark fins from at least 42 sharks. Under Taiwanese law and Pacific fishing rules, shark fins may not exceed 5% of the weight of the shark catch. 9 Sep 2015

Seized shark fins. Photo: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Three years ago, Gregorio Kilili Sablan authored similar legislation that he modeled after a CNMI law that made it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins in the islands.

Twelve US states and two other territories have also banned shark finning or the sale of fins.

US Congress Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan has introduced a bipartisan bill to ban the shark fin trade across the United States.

Gregorio Kilili Sablan Photo: USDA/Lance Cheung.

Mr Sablan said stripping fins from sharks and throwing the animals back in the water to drown or bleed to death has contributed to the rapid decline of shark populations worldwide.

Closing the commercial market for shark fins in the US should help end this wasteful and destructive practice, he said.

The legislation has bipartisan support and the backing of major environmental groups.

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