Victory for Sharks!

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on October 7, 2011

In a major victory for sharks, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 376 into law today. AB 376 makes it illegal to sell, trade, or distribute shark fins in California.

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!

3 thoughts on “Victory for Sharks!

  1. This IS good news. I don’t get the waste of killing a shark only for it’s fins. I read site faithfully and it’s rewarding to learn of the victories.

  2. michele mooney says:


  3. Natalie says:

    Why hasn’t the Gov. signed it yet?

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