Sending Office: Honorable Michael T. McCaul
Please support H.R. 737, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which will be on the floor
November 20, 2019. H.R. 737 removes the United States from the global shark fin trade—the leading cause in declining shark populations globally.
This bi-partisan legislation has 287 cosponsors, including 68 Republicans. It is the most widely-cosponsored piece of ocean conservation legislation under consideration in the 116th Congress.
The shark fin trade drives shark finning— the inhumane practice of removing the animal’s fins at sea and throwing the body overboard, leaving the shark to die. Shark populations globally are threatened by the demand for their fins, mainly used in shark fin
soup. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks enter the global shark fin trade every year, including in U.S. markets. While Congress has already banned the practice of shark finning, there continues to be an import of fins from countries with inadequate or
no shark protections in place. It’s time for us to say no to the trade once and for all.
Twelve U.S. states, including my home state of Texas, have already passed shark fin bans. In addition, 45 airlines, 21 shipping companies, and 7 major corporations have corporate fin bans in place. Nationally more than 645 businesses and organizations and 8
in 10 Americans support passage of a national shark fin ban.
H.R. 737 does not prohibit commercial or recreational shark fishing. This bill simply stops the sale and trade of the fins, which make up less than 5 percent of the body mass of a typical shark. Based on our own government trade data,
the recent value of U.S. shark meat exports has been more than 14 times greater than the value of exported shark fins – so this bill will have little economic impact, in exchange for sending a powerful message about ocean and wildlife conservation to the rest
of the international community.
I am proud of our country’s legacy on leading global wildlife conservation. Just as we have led on banning the trafficking of wildlife products like elephant ivory, rhino horn, and tiger parts, we should lead on ending the shark fin trade within our borders.
With no cost to the American taxpayer, this bill is a simple, effective way for the United States to maintain our position as an international leader on wildlife conservation.
I ask that you join me in voting YES on H.R. 737, the
Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, on the floor this week.
MICHAEL T. MCCAUL
Member of Congress
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