The 2014 Florida Legislative Session will begin in March, but legislators are already beginning to introduce bills that they will support during the session. On Monday, the first animal protection bill was filed: Senate Bill 540, introduced by Senator David Simmons, would ban the possession and sale of shark fins in Florida.
Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins, an ingredient in shark fin soup. “Finning,” removing a shark’s fins and dumping the injured fish back into the ocean, is banned in Florida waters. Unfortunately, it is legal to remove and sell shark fins once boats return to the dock. Each year, thousands of pounds of shark fins are sold by commercial fishermen in Florida. In addition, a large number of imported shark fins enter the U.S. through Florida ports.
The killing of sharks for fins is cruel and threatens some shark species with extinction. Eliminating the demand for shark fins, as this bill would do, is the most effective way to save sharks. The trade in shark fins is already banned in New York, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.
ARFF will be supporting this bill, which we hope is just the first of many bills related to animal protection to be introduced for the 2014 session.
Please thank Senator Simmons for introducing this legislation: firstname.lastname@example.org
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