In June 2016, Congress announced the introduction of the bipartisan Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, which would ban the trade of shark fins in the United States. While the act of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins continue to be bought and sold throughout the United States, largely from the demand of an Asian delicacy, shark fin soup.
Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation recently partnered with Oceana to increase public pressure and bipartisan support of this nationwide ban on the trade of shark fins. Such a move would reduce the international fin trade, improve enforcement of the current finning ban, and send a message to other countries that the United States recognizes shark finning as a cruel process that should not be allowed to continue.
To bolster the argument, Oceana recently commissioned a new, independent report that has found that live sharks provide significant economic benefits to the state of Florida. Divers and tourists travel from around the world to see sharks in person, supporting a tourism industry that depends on healthy animals. In fact, the study indicates that the value of Florida shark diving in 2016 is more than 200 times the value of shark exports for the entire U.S. in 2015.
Read Moore Charitable Foundation chairman Louis Bacon and Oceana Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpless on this issue in the Huffington Post.