SHARK VICTORY ON HORIZON IN CONNECTICUT
Connecticut State Capitol Building
May 25th, 2019
Yesterday in the House of the Representatives in Hartford, Connecticut Bill 5251 was passed with a victory of 110 to 28 with 13 abstentions. Bill 5251 was initiated by Representative David Michel and proposes a Ban on the Sale and Trade of shark fins in the state of Connecticut. Firstly we would like to thank Representative David Michel for his hard work in proposing the bill and lobbying hard with both sides of the house. David reached out to us a few months ago to assist him with the wording and contents of the bill and OceansAsia provided a testimony for the house to help explain the importance and need for such a ban.
With shark populations in dire strait around the world every state or country has a responsibility to stand up for the sharks, without which our oceans will face a catastrophic collapse. We explained that with the trade of shark fins globally, one of the biggest issues is traceability as shark fin traders (smugglers) often mix legal fins with illegal fins and as there is no way of knowing where the sharks are coming from, how they were caught or the species being traded, there is a very high probability that illegal fins will be traded.
Representative David Michel had assistance from OceansAsia as well as HSI USA and others with the final blow being dealt by Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who was invited to the house of representatives to personally address the Connecticut Legislature. Whilst there Captain Watson was also recognized for his decades of conservation work with a Proclamation of support from the Govenor of Connecticut.
The next step the bill will go before the Democratically controlled Senate where it will then go before the Govenor Edward Miner Lamont Jr who in conversations with David Michel and Capt Watson mentioned that it will almost certainly be passed and signed into law.
A great day for the sharks and hopefully Connecticut will join the 13 other US states that have banned this cruel and destructive industry.
A fun moment was when votes were being tallied, the Speaker of the House played the infamous cello soundtrack from the movie “Jaws” on his cell phone over the house speakers, much to the approval of the representatives.