Huge Victory for Sharks: California Legislature Passes Bill to Ban Shark Fin Trade!
Posted September 6, 2011
I’m not sure how sharks celebrate, but if these endangered creatures knew that California’s State Senate just voted to pass Assembly Bill 376, no doubt they’d break out a toothy grin or blow some party bubbles.
This hugely important victory in the California legislature comes not a moment too soon. With sharks being killed by the tens of millions every year just for their fins, scientists, many Asian Pacific American leaders, and jurisdictions around the country and world agree: the very best way to protect sharks from disappearing from our oceans forever is to ban the sale and trade of shark fins.
This afternoon, the 25 Ayes overcame the 9 dissenting votes to pass the bill off the Senate Floor. Now, the bill will go to Governor Brown’s desk, where he will decide whether to sign it into law.
California is one of the largest markets for shark fins outside of Asia and the largest importer of shark fins in the U.S. While we need to do much more to protect sharks around the world, California’s leadership is essential in this effort because our ban will reduce the demand for fins that drives finning in international waters.
The bills authors, Assembly Members Paul Fong (D- Mountain View) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), showed tremendous leadership in shepherding this bill through the legislature. They were joined by many other Assembly Members and Senators who did careful research, then agreed that sharks are so important for the health of our oceans, they must be better protected. Sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance, the bill was also supported hundreds of California’s community and Asian Pacific leaders, dozens of organizations, celebrities, Aquariums, chefs, and thousands of Californians who care of about the health of oceans and its ecosystem.
Our sincere thanks to all of NRDC’s members, activists and concerned citizens who have taken the time to call or email their legislators to encourage them to pass AB 376. Now, Governor Brown has a chance to be a champion -- for sharks and for the oceans.
Curious Tiger Shark. Diver, William Winram; Photo Fred Buyle.
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