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Oregon Passes Law To Ban Shark Finning

Oregon Passes Law To Ban Shark Finning

 

Just in time for Shark Week, Governor John Kitzhaber recently made it illegal to sell, trade, or possess shark fins in the State of Oregon. The bill, which passed the State House of Representatives and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, makes Oregon the third U.S. state to prohibit shark finning behind Hawaii and Washington.

A similar measure passed in the California State Assembly earlier this year, but must to be approved by the Senate before it can become law.

“With the global trade in shark fins pushing sharks toward extinction, it will take strong actions such as this to prevent us from making irreversible changes to our ocean ecosystems,” said Whit Sheard, Senior Advisor and Pacific Counsel for Oceana. “The bipartisan support for this bill once again demonstrates that support for healthy oceans is a non-partisan issue.”

Shark finning is brutal a process whereby sharks are caught, the fins are cut away from the body, and the carcass is thrown back into the sea. Without fins, sharks bleed to death, drown, or are eaten by other species.  Used mostly to provide ingredients for the Asian delicacy, shark fin soup, in recent decades this practice has contributed to a 99 percent decline in some shark populations.

Although shark finning is already illegal in U.S., European, Canadian and Australian waters, it’s still common in international waters. Fins are imported to the U.S. from countries with less stringent protections, and because it’s not against the law to possess the fins in most states, this demand continues unabated.

However, scientists are starting to understand that eliminating sharks from ocean ecosystems can destabilize the ocean food web and even lead to declines in populations of other species, including commercially-caught fish and shellfish species lower in the food web.

Related Reading:

Sharks And Other Predators Are Essential For Ocean Health

Five Of The Biggest Sharks In The World [Slideshow]

Shark Finning Outlawed In Chilean Waters

via LA Times

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Image Credit: Flickr - usfwspacific

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124 comments

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10:00AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

My own state Representative Brad Witt introduced this legislation. I am so proud of him.

7:50PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Go, Oregon! Tx.

1:27AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

Great,thanks.

8:23AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

That is a great move and timely at that.

1:34PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Another law Oregon has that we should follow...the right to work. Self service gas stations and self check out lanes are illegal in Oregon. That was done in order to spurr economic growth, and it worked, because the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

4:53PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

great news! -- let's all follow Oregon's suit.

2:59AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:10PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

that is good news for the sharks and for everyone that is against cruelty to animals

11:53AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

SharkWater was such an eye-opening documentary on what is happening to sharks. I recommend it to anyone!

10:15AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

We must protect these creatures. They only kill for food to survive. We kill them for no really good reason except fear. Save these waters and the life in them!!

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