Yesterday, Murphy signed S2905 (Singleton), which prohibits certain possession, sale, trade, distribution, or offering for sale of shark fins.
“The shark population has been decimated. This legislation will go a long way toward helping protect them in New Jersey. Shark finning has led to the overfishing and overexploitation of shark species. Since shark fin soup is a delicacy, the fins are sold at high prices resulting in tens of millions of sharks being killed every year. This has led to a dramatic decrease in the shark population with some species like the smooth hammerhead dropping a staggering 99% since 1972. When sharks are removed from an ecosystem, it triggers a collapse in the entire food web and can lead to problems with our own marine food sources,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This law will help end the practice of shark finning that endangers the species.”
A person who violates the bill’s prohibitions against the possession, sale, trade, distribution, or offer for sale of shark fins is subject: (1) for a first offense, to a civil administrative penalty of not less than $5,000 or more than $15,000; (2) for a second offense, to a civil administrative penalty of not less than $15,000 or more than $35,000; and (3) for a third or subsequent offense, to a civil administrative penalty of not less than $35,000 or more than $55,000, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.
“By signing this bill, Governor Murphy is standing up to protect the shark population. The harvesting of shark fins is senseless slaughter. The fins are removed from the sharks while they are still alive, and then the sharks are left to die. This legislation is necessary because the practice of shark finning is brutal and unnecessary causing a rapid decline of shark species, which we may see go extinct unless we move to protect them. No one needs shark fins except sharks. This law will help preserve hundreds of ecologically important shark species and stop them from being slaughtered for soup,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.