This week, the New Jersey Assembly passed A4845, a bill that prohibits the sale and trade of shark fins, by a vote of 53 to 18. While shark-finning—the practice of cutting off a shark’s fin while they are still alive and throwing them back into the ocean to die—is prohibited under federal law, sale of the product (sourced from places where finning is legal) continues in the United States. “This critical law will ensure that the ecologically wasteful and cruel trade will be prohibited within New Jersey’s borders,” Brian R. Hackett, New Jersey State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, said. “We are so grateful to the bill’s prime sponsor, Raj Mukherji, and the other Assembly co-sponsors Vincent Mazzeo, John Armato, Carol Murphy, and Mila Jasey, for their support to remove New Jersey from the global trade in shark fins.” New Jersey joins several other states that currently have a similar ban in place, including California, Maryland, and Illinois. Last week, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (a federal bill prohibiting the import, export, possession, trade, and distribution of shark fins) passed in the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 310 to 107 and went on to the Senate for a vote.
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