Ban The Import and Export of Shark Fins

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Most Australians would be horrified to know that we participate in the global shark fin trade - but we do. It’s unsustainable, cruel and it’s got to stop.

Every year, up to 73 million sharks are killed for their fins, threatening one-third of open ocean sharks with extinction. Finning is incredibly inhumane, as the sharks are typically thrown back into the water to drown. Sharks are disappearing at an alarming rate, and if they go extinct the ecological consequences would be devastating. As an apex predator, sharks hold the oceans in balance and their extinction would have significant effects on every species below them.

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Ciobo,

Please ban the import and export of shark fin in Australia to protect Australia’s oceans and help address the worldwide decline in sharks caused by the devastating shark fin trade.

A ban is needed for the following reasons:

The latest science confirms that sharks are vital for healthy oceans, including Reef health. As apex predators, sharks maintain a critical balance in ocean ecosystems.

The international trade in shark fin is driving the fishing of endangered sharks and the global decrease in shark populations.

Australia still imports shark fin from places like Hong Kong and Indonesia that do not comprehensively regulate harvesting of sharks and unsustainable practices like live shark finning.

Sharks are highly vulnerable to overfishing, due to their slow growth and relatively low rates of reproduction.

Nearly one third of pelagic shark species are considered threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, including species that are caught here in Australia.

Prime Minister, for these reasons I call on the Government to ban shark fin import and export as a matter of urgency. The import and export of shark fin can be banned simply and legally under Australian law via amendments to the customs regulations. With such a large ocean territory, Australia must show leadership on this issue.