JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to the Florida Times-Union, environmentalists sighed in disappointment after a Florida Senate bill banning the sale and trade of shark fins was amended last week, weakening its original intent.
Originally proposed by Northeast Florida Senator Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, Senate Bill 884 would have thwarted the lucrative business of shark fin sales with strong language outlining the punishment and violations of the sale, trade or distribution of fins.
“Eleven other states that had ports where this activity was taking place have already banned the sale and trade of shark fins,” said Erin Handy, campaign organizer for Oceana’s Climate & Energy Campaign in Florida. “Florida would have been the twelfth.”
Handy said the original version of SB 884 would make it a first-degree misdemeanor in the state to trade or sell shark fins and tails, as well as suspending or revoking permits of commercial and recreational fishers found in violation.