Dogfish Exemption Bill Status
For decades, every piece of federal legislation regarding a ban on the shark fin trade in the United States has contained an exemption for dogfish. This is because the dogfish fishery is sustainable both from an environmental perspective as well as a food-use perspective: every part of a harvested dogfish is utilized.
So, our CEO John Pappalardo was alarmed when, the week before a Senate sub-committee hearing, he received a call alerting him that the dogfish exemption had been removed from an upcoming bill on shark fin sales.
Without the sale of dogfish fins, the overall market for dogfish falls apart, and that would be devastating to our local fleet, which landed 14 million pounds of dogfish last year. We believe that all U.S. shark fisheries are sustainably managed, but it is incredibly important for the survival of Cape Cod fishermen to ensure dogfish fins are allowed to be sold.
So, Pappalardo immediately contacted both Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey, each of whom were co-sponsors of the bill. Pappalardo worked closely with their offices to craft a dogfish exemption that would recognize the sustainability of this fishery and the economic importance to fishermen's livelihoods.
We then mobilized our local fishermen to call all of the members of the Senate committee to urge them to allow this dogfish exemption to be included in the bill. We are happy to report that these efforts worked, and the dogfish exemption was included in the final bill that will be presented to the Senate for a vote. We will keep you posted as it moves through Congress.
Learn more about our efforts to improve domestic markets for dogfish through our Pier to Plate program.