COARE is proud to be one of the world's leading experts in shark conservation policy, working tirelessly to promote shark fin legislation around the country.

From authoring authoring Illinois's shark fin ban (HB 4119), to big wins in California, Oregon, New York, and Maryland, COARE has had primary involvement in or consulted on nearly every US shark fin bill.

Concurrent with any legislative push, COARE works within Chinese communities to raise awareness about the effects of shark finning, and to discuss the needs of business and restaurant owners. A case study of of the Illinois fin ban illustrates this approach: COARE worked with the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to gain support, set up media events, and facilitate meetings with restaurateurs and business owners. Those meetings reduced the proposed "phase-out period" (designed to allow restaurants to use up any inventory acquired prior to new legislation) by 3 months. The result was a stronger piece of legislation backed by the community and businesses it would most affect.

With nearly a decade of experience, COARE continues to provide advice, guidance, and consulting on shark conservation efforts around the country. Several advisory board members are world leaders on shark issues: Dr. Johann Mourier, Ph.D., studies behavioral ecology of sharks in French Polynesia, including social networks, reproduction, and feeding. Sonja Fordham serves as the deputy-chair of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Shark Specialist Group, and has worked towards landmark shark protections in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

What you can do to help

  • Support legislation to ban the sale and trade of shark fins in your state
  • If you eat seafood, make selections that are sustainably fished or raised. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program has a convenient app and regional pocket guides to help you make decisions on the go.
  • Avoid food that comes from endangered species, like shark fin or turtle soup, and do not patronize restaurants that serve it.
  • Avoid pharmaceutical or pet products (e.g., glucosamine tablets) that contain shark cartilage or oils.