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Northern Mariana Islands Passes Shark Fin Ban Legislation

WildAid and Sharksavers congratulate Governor Fitial and the Legislature of the Northern Mariana Islands for passage of anti shark fin legislation.

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Governor Benigno Fitial today signed into law an important bill - HB 17-94.

This measure will prohibit possession and sale of shark fins in the Commonwealth islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota, and therefore become the first US territory to introduce legislation that addresses the shark fin trade.

This bill was closely modeled after the Hawaii Shark Fin bill of 2010, originally drafted by Hawaii State Senator Clayton Hee. This historic bill was the first of its kind in the world and has triggered a series of similar bills being introduced in Guam, California, Oregon and Washington. Senator Hee was a key supporter of the CNMI bill and continues to be a champion for shark conservation across the Pacific.

WildAid would like to commend Representative Diego Benavente for introduction of the measure in the CNMI and thank the many local activists and organizations that helped bring this important piece of legislation to fruition. We would also like to thank House Speaker Froilan C. Tenorio, Senator Jude Untalan Hofschneider and Senate President Paul Atalig Manglona for their support within the legislature.

“With passage of this bill yet another region of the Pacific takes a strong stand against the trade of shark fins and the sale of shark fin soup. It sets a great example for the region to ensure a sustainable future for the islands.” Said WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights.

Up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup every year and the trade has been the major factor in the decimation of global shark populations

WILDAID: Our aim is to conserve threatened wildlife through reducing demand for wildlife products. We do this through global multimedia communications campaigns featuring Asian and Western athletes, musicians, actors, celebrities and prominent individuals reaching audiences of 1 billion in China and over 700 million in India. We leverage over $100million in pro-bono media from 50+ media companies to reach consumers via television, cable, internet, mobile devices, magazines, outdoor billboards, LCD screens and monitors in government buildings, shopping centers, banks, university cafeterias, trains, subways, taxis, metro rails, airplanes, hospitals and airports.

We also have a field conservation program in India and enforce marine protected areas in Raja Ampat (Daram Marine Reserve) Indonesia and Galapagos Islands(Galapagos Marine Reserve), Ecuador.

WildAid Ambassadors include Jackie Chan, Guo Jing Jing, Michelle Yeoh, Yang Lan, Tony Leung, Lang Lang, Liu Huan, Joan Chen, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Carmelo Anthony, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Ambitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and many more.

We are currently primarily focused on demand reduction for sharks, tigers, elephants, rhinos, bears, sea turtles and coral.