Victory for Sharks!Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on October 7th, 2011
On his website, Governor Brown states, "The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans. Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing. In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill."
Although not the only economic incentive for fishermen, the market
for “shark fin soup” is a strong one, and California is one of the
largest markets for fins outside of Asia. So-called “shark finning” has
taken a horrifying toll on sharks.
Some of the numerous reasons to stop this abhorrent practice:
- Shark finning is inherently cruel: sharks are often finned alive, then thrown overboard to sink to the bottom of the ocean and die a slow, agonizing death
- As much as 90% of the world’s shark population has been decimated by overfishing, with shark finning accounting for up to 70 million shark deaths each year
- Sharks are a crucial part of the world’s ecosystems
- Shark finning is banned in the coastal waters of many nations, including the U.S. (with the exception of North Carolina)
- Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington have all passed bills banning the sale of shark fins
AB 376 was approved by the Senate in September on a 25-9 vote and was overwhelmingly passed by the Assembly in May on a 65-8 vote. An increasing number of states are realizing, cruelty is intolerable, regardless of its place in any culture’s traditions.
Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators and urged them to support this important bill!