environmental law, sharks, shark fin, shark fin soup, shark fin trade, Florida, extinction, artificial shark fin, imitation shark fin, smartfin, ban, Florida ports, apex predator, finning regulations, Magnuson Stevens Act, Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, bioaccumulation, mercury, consumption, health, ocean


Currently, it is legal to possess, sell and purchase shark fins in 38 states, Florida included. Fishermen are allowed to harvest sharks all around the world with minimal surveillance and weak regulation, causing greed to push a 400-million-year old species to the brink of extinction. Florida’s current statue is completely ineffective and toothless when it comes to shark conservation. The State needs to amend its shark fin law prohibiting the trade in all detached shark fins, for any purpose, by anyone to discontinue fueling a cruel practice. There is a federal bill pending in congress that would ban the trade across the nation called, The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017, but we do not know when it will be decided as the bill is still gathering cosponsor support—the faster more effective route would be the amend Florida Stat. § 379.2426. This paper aims to redirect Florida legislator’s attention on major economic gains by keeping sharks alive for tourism instead of focusing on the fisherman’s profits. It is important to inform the community to voice their concerns to their representatives that if we kill all the worlds shark’s population, we potentially destroy all food chains of an entire marine ecosystem.