16 Jun 2013
THANKS to Angelo O. Villagomez for highlighting the importance of outlawing shark finning (“Obama administration proposes a step backward in shark conservation,” 6/14). As part of implementing the Shark Conservation Act, the Obama administration proposes to preempt state bans on shark finning, some of which are more stringent than the federal law.
A vital part of the ocean ecosystem, sharks contribute to the survival of countless other species. The gruesome practice of chopping the dorsal fins off live sharks, allowing the sharks to sink to the bottom of the ocean and bleed to death, has become a huge threat to sharks worldwide. Each year, more than 70 million sharks are killed through this horrific practice.
For this reason, the federal Shark Conservation Act is a crucial step toward their protection. However, as Mr. Villagomez demonstrates, it is counterproductive to preempt effective state laws. If state and federal legislation can operate in tandem, sharks have the best chance of escaping needless suffering and death.
All compassionate Americans should make their voice heard and urge the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remove the language in the Act that undermines state legislation.
The Obama administration should support every effort at every governmental level to end shark finning.
Born Free USA