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Join Leonardo Di Caprio, Yao Ming, Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, and Dozens of Celebs to Save Sharks from Hot Water

Leila Monroe

Posted June 24, 2011 in Reviving the World's Oceans

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This morning, 34 actors, directors, musicians and other celebrities joined NRDC, Wild Aid, and the Humane Society of the U.S. to stand up for Sharks.  Read this letter -- from Leonardo Di Caprio, Yao Ming, Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, Anthony Keidis, Flea, Scarlett Johansson, Ian Somerhalder, and many more -- supporting California’s Assembly Bill 376 which would protect sharks from being killed just for their fins.

With movies like Jaws, Open Water and Deep Blue Sea, Hollywood gave sharks a bad reputation.  Now, Hollywood is coming to the rescue to help the estimated 26 – 73 million sharks killed each year for their fins, which are used to meet the exploding demand for shark fin soup. 

FinnedShark, Nancy Boucha2005, Marine Photobank.JPG

Photo: Nancy Boucha, www.scubasystems.org 2005/Marine Photobank

Sharks are in serious trouble.  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines shark finning as “the removal and retention of shark fins and the discard at sea of the rest of the carcass.”  This wasteful practice uses only 2-5% of shark bodies and is threatening sharks around the world -- more than 1/3 of shark species are threatened with extinction.  As a result of the international shark fin trade, with some populations declined by 99%. 

Join these celebrities and take action: tell your California Senator that you support protecting sharks by banning the trade and sale of shark fins. 

You can also make a big difference if you live in the districts of one these Senators: please call them before Tuesday, 6/28/2011, when they will be voting on this bill in the Senate Natural Resources Committee:

  • Senator Alex Padilla, (Los Angeles), 916-651-4020
  • Senator Lois Wolk, (Davis, Fairfield, Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Vacaville, West Sacramento), 916-651-4005
  • Senator Doug LaMalfa, (Butte, Colusa, Del norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yuba), 916-651-4004
  • Senator Anthony Cannella, (Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus),916-651-401
  • Senator Jean Fuller, (Inyo, Kern, San Bernadino, Tulare), 916-651-4018

In addition to these do-gooder celebs, check out this long list of supporters, including hundreds of Asian Pacific Americans leaders and organizations that have supported this bill.

California needs to follow the lead of Hawaii and Washington to ban the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins.  Banning the shark fin trade is the best way to save sharks from the pressures of finning because poaching for their fins will continue as long as fins are allowed on the market.  No shark fishery is recognized as "sustainable" anywhere in the world.  The impact of the California bill goes well beyond our state: it will deter finning in international waters by ending the fin trade here. 

Curious Tiger Shark.JPG

Photo, Fred Buyle; Diver, William Winram

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Comments

josephgrahnJun 27 2011 05:58 PM

Good intentions fall on deaf ears,I remember the dolphin fishing problem. this is as serious, not any less important. Sharks get a bad rap, like a pit bull dog, education and details are needed. Looks like a catastrophe. I'm shocked, but not surprised. Good luck, This is insanity...

Richard WrightJul 1 2011 12:47 PM

What is wrong with people? We need sharks to balance OUR oceans. Beside the fact they are living creatures that we need to protect from
others who would kill them just for their fins.

LaurieJul 1 2011 01:07 PM

why cant they do a show about saving the sharks.like they do whlale wars.im so tired of sharks being killed for needles reasons.we need to do more about saving them.thank you laurie.

Brandon BetheaJul 1 2011 01:41 PM

Thanks to everyone who supports shark conservation. I recently started Fin Forward in San Diego to provide therapeutic shark encounters for cancer survivors. We would love to have a shark-loving celebrity join us in a cage sometime to help raise awareness for this critical cause!

Christine StimsonJul 1 2011 04:48 PM

Although I am not a California resident, saving of the Sharks is very important to the survival of all ocean species. Without the sharks, other species populations that sharks feed on will become overpopulated. We all know what happens then. I think everyone should boycott places that kill, use, not only shark fins but any kind of species that is in danger of extinction. Then again that means every living creature on earth. Vegetarian is sounding so much better these days.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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