Monday, March 9, 2020

Ban amendment filed that would gut the banning of shark finning- please take action!

This just in... a bad amendment that would gut the banning of shark finning was filed yesterday. We know you're getting a lot of alerts, but session will soon be over (whew!). Please act on this one too!  Call your State Representative and urge them to vote NO on amendment 982733 by Rep. Overdorf. 
The underlying bill, SB 680, bans shark finning (cutting the fins off a shark and dumping it back into the water to drown since it can no longer swim.) It explicitly bans the sale of shark fins in Florida, the import of shark fins to Florida, and the export of shark fins from Florida.The bill also provides that commercial shark fishers with a federal permit issued before Jan. 1, 2020 can continue to sell shark fins in the state and export them from Florida until 1/1/25 - a five year period to adjust to the new law. This bill has been in the process for two sessions and is almost ready to be adopted by both the House and Senate.
But Amendment 982733 by Rep. Overdorf has been filed at the last minute that eliminates the ban on selling shark fins in Florida and the ban on exporting them. Instead, it requires a study by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to determine what potential negative economic impacts on the commercial fishing industry could be caused by a ban on the sale, import, and export of shark fins. The study also would have to identify actions that could be taken to lessen or offset such impacts. Only  after the study is submitted by 12/31/2022 would the legislature be able to consider banning the practice.
Please urge your Representative to vote NO on amendment 982733. Sharks, as apex predators, are essential to the ecology of our oceans and this amendment would allow their senseless slaughter to continue unabated.
Thank you for all you do for our environment!