8 in 10 Americans Support a Nationwide Shark Fin Ban
New Polling Results Find Widespread Bipartisan Support for National Legislation Prohibiting the U.S. Shark Fin Trade
Press Release Date: August 17, 2016
WASHINGTON – Today, Oceana released a new poll that revealed eight in 10 Americans (81 percent) support the bipartisan Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, a bill introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) and Ed Royce (R-CA), that would ban the trade of shark fins in the United States. While the act of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins continue to be bought and sold throughout the United States.
The demand for shark fins is one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world. In fact, fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market every year, putting some species at risk of extinction. Oceana recently released a report outlining the scientific arguments for why Congress needs to pass a federal ban on the buying and selling of shark fin products, finding that a nationwide ban would reduce the international fin trade, improve upon current enforcement capabilities and reinforce the status of the United States as a leader in shark conservation.
“It’s clear that Americans support a ban on the trade of shark fins—and Congress should listen,” said Oceana campaign director Lora Snyder. “The demand for shark fins, a demand the U.S. currently perpetuates, encourages the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning and is decimating shark populations worldwide, much like the demand for elephant tusks and rhino horns has severely jeopardized those animal populations. Currently, 11 U.S. states have taken action to protect sharks and have banned the sale of fins, but the rest of the country needs to follow their example. The American public knows that shark fins have no place in the United States.”
The national poll, conducted by the non-partisan polling company icitizen, surveyed 1,000 registered American voters online from July 12-15, and found broad bipartisan support for the legislation.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Eighty-nine percent of voters agree that shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice.
- Seventy-five percent of registered Republicans and 84 percent of registered Democrats support the legislation.
- Americans 65 years and older register the highest amount of support for the bill, at 91 percent.
- Women register higher amounts of support for the bill than men, at 84 percent vs. 76 percent, respectively.
- A subsample of 107 Floridian voters indicate 88 percent support for the bill.
To access the poll crosstabs and topline results, please visit www.oceana.org/FinBanPoll.