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This week is the ocean’s top predator’s special week – Shark Week —  and Oceana, the Georgia Aquarium, El Porto Shark and the Great Plains Restoration Council will celebrate #SharkWeek2021 with an online event at 2 p.m. Thursday, “Shark Stories: Going Below the Surface!”
Expert panelists will share shark stories, insights and expertise with viewers as they shine a light on these ocean apex predators.

This online event will feature stunning shark photography and videos to help us learn why sharks are important to the ocean, and about threats to their survival, and ways you can take action to protect them.
Whether you are a shark fanatic, shark-curious, or wary of sharks, we hope you can join us!

Register at: https://bit.ly/SharkStories2021.

Randy Sturgill, Oceana senior field representative, Wilmington, offers the following commentary about sharks:

As families tune in for this annual summer tradition, it’s important to remember that sharks are in trouble. 

A study published earlier this year in Nature found that global oceanic shark and ray populations have declined by more than 70% over the last 50 years, with overfishing as the primary cause.

The demand for shark fins incentivizes overfishing and shark finning, the cruel and wasteful practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and throwing them back where it drowns, starves to death, or is eaten alive by other fish.

Fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the market every year.

Just as rhino and elephant populations have declined due to the demand for their horns and tusks, the shark fin trade jeopardizes the continued survival of many shark populations. 

Although shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, fins can still be bought and sold throughout much of the United States. These fins, often imported from countries that have inadequate protections in place for sharks. 

In June, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to ban the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States.

Now it’s time for the House to make it a reality.  The House already showed its support when it passed this bill in the last Congress, but we’re now calling on them again.

The demand for shark fins is decimating shark populations, and the United States must do its part to help protect them.   Join me in calling on congress to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 2811) and officially remove the United States from the shark fin trade once and for all. We need a fin ban now.  

Oceanic whitetip shark, Cat Island Bahamas, Photo courtesy of Oceana.

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