Fin Free New York

Every year, tens of millions of sharks are inhumanely, unsustainably and often illegally killed for their fins.

Legislation to ban shark fin products has been introduced in the state of New York by Assemblyman Maisel and Assemblywoman Meng and State Senator Grisanti.

New York’s market for shark fins helps drive the practice of shark finning and the staggering decline in shark populations. The shark fin ban bill, S6431 and A07707A will ensure that no person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, trade or distribute a shark fin.

We now need more Assembly Members and Senators to sponsor the bill. Broad sponsorship of the bill is a crucial step before the bill will be considered for a vote.

Bans on shark fin are desperately needed to make a quick impact on decimated shark populations that play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy. Sharks need your help now.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Step 1: Sign the petition
Tell legislators you want to end the shark fin trade. Please sign the petition if you are a RESIDENT of New York.

Step 2: Make a phone call
Live in New York? Make a brief, polite phone call to your state legislators to urge support for S.6431/A.7707a. Click here to look up their phone numbers.

You can simply say: "I am a constituent -- please support S.6431/A.7707a." You should know the facts of course, to state your case – but the important part is making that call. Do it. This is one of the most important ways to make your voice heard.

Step 3: Send an email
Send an email to all the legislators that represent you. Click here to find them. Use the email below, but be sure to put it to your own words, to increase its effectiveness. You can also use some of our facts below to change it.

SUBJECT: Please support S.6431/A.7707a to protect sharks and our oceans

Dear Legislator,

Every year, tens of millions of sharks are killed primarily for their fins. In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Due to the economics at stake, shark finning, the primary reason sharks are caught, is unsustainable, and often unregulated, illegal and inhumane. Fins bought in New York support this industry and are driving the staggering decline in shark populations.

Reducing demand for shark fin through legislation is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks from extinction. The entire West Coast -- California, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii -- and the U.S. territories Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have already enacted bans on the shark fin trade. It is my hope New York will exhibit similar leadership and join them.

S.6431/A.7707a will allow New York to make a critical impact on decimated shark populations that play an important role in keeping our oceans healthy.

Please support the bipartisan S.6431/A.7707a. In doing so, you will be giving sharks a much needed chance to recover, while protecting our oceans, and all who depend upon them.


Step 4: Get noisy! And enlist support
Once you’ve signed the petition, called and also sent your emails, ask your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to do the same. Educate them on the issue and empower them to take action like you did. Tweet, facebook and blog about it. Get the local schools involved. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. 
There are plenty of creative ways to get the word out – from participating in local parades to advertising in local papers. All you need is a bit of passion and some inspiration!

Step 5: Stay connected
You aren’t done yet! The legislative process may require your support at several points. Your support throughout the process is critical to pushing this bill forward as it moves through the process, from the house to the senate - and even if it is on the govener’s desk. A well-timed phone call and email at these points is essential! We will keep you updated through our action blasts – sign up now and stay engaged. Together we can turn the tides for sharks.

new york fin free

Get The Facts:

Each year, tens of million sharks are killed. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 1/3 of all shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction.

In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to decline, mostly due to the demand for shark fin.

Shark fin soup, which has burgeoned the price of shark fins, and started a wasteful process of finning, where only the shark fins are harvested, often from an alive shark, and the body is discarded, thrown back to die.

Sharks can take 25 years to reach sexual maturity, have few young, and cannot withstand this pressure.

Few national or international regulations exist to adequately protect sharks, and many migrate across national park and international borders.

Due to the economics at stake, shark finning is the primary reason sharks are caught, and shark finning is an industry that is unsustainable, and often unregulated, illegal and inhumane. Fins bought in New York support this industry.


The value of the fins is far greater than the meat. Often the meat is wasted or used for animal feed or fertilizer.

Sharks have roamed – and shaped - the seas for more than 400 million years. As the first vertebrate with jaws, sharks pre-date the dinosaurs by 150 million years and are important to the health of the oceans. Recent studies indicate that regional elimination of sharks can cause disastrous effects further down the food chain including the collapse of valuable fisheries and the death of coral reefs.

One of the fastest and most effective way to protect sharks is to eliminate the market for their fins.

Legislation to ban the shark fin trade and a collaborative global response to this issue is desperately needed. Banning ivory at the national level - and its trade internationally - protected elephants when at their most fragile. To stop finning without patrolling the vast oceans with a fleet of hundreds of thousands, shark fin needs to be banned immediately.

Current federal and state laws (N.Y. Env Law §13-0338) prohibit shark finning, but do nothing to address the issue of the shark fin trade in the state. Shark fins are still widely traded in the state.

Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington states have already outlawed shark fin trade, as has Guam and CNMI. More states are in the process of similar legislations including Ilinois, Maryland and New Jersey. And 10% of Canadians live in municipalities in which shark fin is illegal.

This isn't a cultural issue - it is a world issue, with far reaching impacts.

New York State is the leading importer of shark fins in the East coast and one of the largest markets for shark fins outside Asia with at least several dozen restaurants and banquet halls selling shark fin soup in the city alone. It very well could be the largest port of entry for shark fins on the East Coast and a major supplier for shark fins sold in other states.