Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
25 June 2000 Issue

Shark Fin Ban is Signed by Governor in Hawaii
Source: [email protected] (Victoria Mireles)

Today [Thursday, June 22, 2000] Governor Benjamin Cayetano signed a bill banning shark finning -- cutting off a shark's fin and throwing it back into the ocean. The House Bill 1947 will prohibit the landing of any shark fins in the state of Hawaii unless the shark is landed whole.

According to the Bill, "No person shall knowingly harvest shark fins from the territorial waters of the State, or land shark fins in the State, unless the fins were taken from a shark landed whole in the State."

The legislation also applies to vessels registered in the State that are fishing outside Hawaii's territorial waters (three miles from the shore). However, foreign vessels will be allowed to have shark fins on board their vessels when using ports in Hawaii, but are prohibited from unloading or shipping fins through the State.

We are very pleased that the Hawaii legislature, and now the Governor, are ending shark finning in Hawaiian waters despite the well-funded lobbying efforts of those who profit from shark finning. In the end, science and sound management prevailed.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of shark fins are shipped through Hawaii each year -- more than any other state in the U.S. However, the state of Hawaii has now shown that it is truly concerned about its marine resources and is taking action to prevent this wasteful practice that that has decimated shark populations in other parts of the US and worldwide. Shark fins are the principal ingredient in shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy that can sell for $100 a bowl.

Shark finning has been banned in U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters since 1993, but the practice has skyrocketed in recent years in the Western Pacific. From 1991 to 1998, the number of sharks killed solely for their fins increased by an alarming 2500 percent in waters off Hawaii.

Despite widespread concern among the public, conservation groups, government officials, fishermen and scientists, the Western Pacific regional fishery management council has repeatedly refused to ban the practice. Representatives from the Department of Commerce (the agency ultimately responsible for U.S. fishing policy) have testified in support of anti-finning action by Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to ban shark finning nationwide two weeks ago with a landslide vote of 390 to 1. The bill is now pending consideration in the U.S. Senate. The fate of the legislation in the Senate is uncertain because key Senate committee members have not declared their positions and Congress is operating under an abbreviated schedule.

This is a clear message to the US Congress that the people of Hawaii support measures to end the wasteful practice of shark finning. The U.S. Senate should move quickly to pass a nationwide shark finning ban that covers all U.S. waters.

Go on to Job Opportunity
Return to 25 June 2000 Issue
Return to Newsletters

** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Home Page




Your comments and inquiries are welcome

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting

Since date.gif (991 bytes)