We, the undersigned residents of Bristol support a City By-Law and motion that condemns the Trade, sale and distribution of shark fins within our city.
Sharks are essential to the health of our oceans. As apex predators, sharks maintain a critical balance in the ocean. When sharks are eliminated, disastrous effects can happen further down the food chain, including the collapse of commercial fisheries and degradation of coral reefs. Ecosystems with healthy shark populations have higher numbers of fish. A third of shark species are threatened with extinction. Some populations have plummeted by over 90%. Sharks cannot easily recover from overfishing because they reproduce slowly, taking years to mature and producing few offspring.
The shark fin trade is decimating shark populations worldwide at a rate of over 100 million sharks slaughtered annually. Experts agree that sharks could be extinct in 20 years at the current rate of slaughter. The act of shark finning is a wasteful and inhumane practice that involves cutting off a shark's fins and then tossing the still-alive shark back overboard to drown, bleed to death, or to be eaten alive by other animals. Shark fins have no significant nutritional value and are considered unhealthy for human consumption due to the accumulation of high levels of mercury and other toxins in fins and flesh. Shark fin soup is a luxury that is responsible for tens of millions of sharks being killed every year. While sharks are essential, this soup is not.
We personally pledge never to knowingly purchase or consume shark fins. When the buying stops, the killing can too.
Thank you so much for your support!