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Support California’s Shark Fin Ban

February 25th, 2011 by Webmaster

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California has the incredible opportunity to once again be a leader in animal protection and environmental conservation with a new bill that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in California, Assembly Bill (AB) 376. Introduced by Assembly members Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), this bill follows a similar ban in Hawaii passed in 2010 and could help start a much needed cascade effect of legislation to protect the top predator in the ocean.

Shark fining is a process where the fins and tails of sharks are cut off and the remainder of the often still living fish is thrown back into the ocean. Sharks then sink to the bottom, unable to swim and die a slow, agonizing death. Every year, tens of millions of sharks are killed in this manner for shark fin soup, a tasteless, Asian delicacy. This unnecessary dish has been a major contributor to the near collapse of many shark species world-wide as well as in California. Sharks maintain the natural balance in our oceans marine food web. Scientists are warning that the massive decline of sharks is having a devastating effect on the marine ecosystem.

At the heart of the debate is “culture”. Assemblyman Fong, an Asian-American, supports the bill and is fighting for the preservation of the oceans and the sharks. Senator Leland Yee, also an Asian-American, feels that the ban is an attack on the Asian culture as shark fin soup is a traditional Asian delicacy. It is true that cultures and traditions should be respected and preserved, but not if that tradition is causing suffering or environmental destruction. If sentient beings are being exploited, coerced, or are victims of genocide, the global community must step in and aid the oppressed. If a tradition is causing unbalance in the ecosystem, international intervention is needed and necessary- for the ultimate survival of the culture effected. Sharks are being hunted to extinction, and what befalls the oceans, affects us all. The health of the ecosystem is not confined by cultural boundaries and the planet must be protected by the international community.

There is also the culture of the shark to consider. Sharks are amazing creatures in their own right and deserve to live free of human imposed suffering. There are more than 350 different kinds of sharks and most sharks as we know them today developed about 64 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs. After mating, some female sharks can retain the male’s sperm in their bodies for use when she is ready to reproduce, even if that does not happen until next season. Lantern sharks can glow in the dark. Sharks have a unique culture all to themselves that deserves to be preserved for future generations.

AB 376 will give important protection to sharks to help preserve the ecosystem and biodiversity of the California coast and the world’s oceans. Please support this important legislation and if you are a California resident, click here for more  information on how to help .

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  80. August 17, 2011 at 11:12 am, nathalie c said:

    “Shark finning is unhealthy in all regards,” “It’s unhealthy to fin the sharks because it’s decimating their populations, it’s unhealthy to eat shark fins because of the high mercury content, and it’s unhealthy for the oceans’ ecosystem because once the apex predator disappears, the ocean will fall like a house of cards.

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  81. August 17, 2011 at 10:48 am, noorani said:

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  82. April 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm, Roger said:

    Trophy eating is not more justified than trophy hunting. The problem now is overcoming the political correctness allowing Asians a pass because of cultural bias. The practice should be banned world-wide.

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  83. April 07, 2011 at 11:28 pm, Peter said:

    I agree with this in general but your invention of a culture of the shark is very weak. We have no evidence that sharks have culture in the sense that we understand it as humans so you should not use the term.
    It is important that people understand that we must respect all species without attempting to anthropomorphise their characteristics.

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  84. March 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm, Marcel Wensveen said:

    Please help us creating the movement we need. Go to Facebook and become friend with Ron el Tiburon who is a Galapagos shark that we use in our educational project for children. Ron is going to be the symbol worldwide in educational projects. In a short time we expect to put the supporting book (in PDF) format on the Sea Shepherd site. Spread his name and let’s unite to stop this horrible slaughter!

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    • April 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm, Uma said:

      can someone tell me how we can support the ban of shark fin sales in california. My 11 year old daughter is passionate about this cause and constantly seeking to raise money and educate about the preservation of sharks. she even wrote a message about it on her easter egg today. she sends the money she raises to WWF but would like to support the local california effort directly. Who is behind it on the grass roots level?

      thanks elizabeth.

      Reply

  85. March 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm, Tanya Tiefenthaler said:

    All sharks should be protected, they are on the top of the food chain. If we kill them all off, at the reate we are, the oceans will die and so will we. Image in a big city if nobody collected you rubbish? we would be in a pile of shit within a few day……food for thought

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  86. March 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm, Warren said:

    The people who do this inhumane thing by cutting of a sharks fins chucking it overboard and letting it drown as it sinks to the bottom of the ocean must not have a once of feelings for anything.

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  87. March 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm, jesse said:

    … yet another alarming reminder of the importance of shifting our thinking from anthrocentric to biocentric… we sit here gobbling our sharkfin soup and wallowing in lives of excess, the comforts of modern convenience blinding us to the dire environmental predicament, and cultivating a dominant paradigm characterized by a denial of sentience to the natural world. Are humans not “ordinary members of the biotic community”? How many reminders do we need before we all remember how to believe that humans are only one animal in the vast and interconnected community of life? That sharks are people, just not human? We used to know these things…

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  88. March 27, 2011 at 8:58 am, sharon gates said:

    This is HELL.STOP

    Reply

  89. March 27, 2011 at 7:02 am, Bob Flath said:

    There are so many people that have no respect for human life why would they care about fish.

    Reply

  90. March 27, 2011 at 6:20 am, Julie said:

    Our own survival depends on the survival of the all the animals of nature. There is a balance that’s needs to exist. We continue to change that balance by killing these beautiful animals in such a horrific way. If we continue to embark on this horrible act we will suffer the consequences of our actions. Please stop killing the sharks. We need them.

    Reply

  91. March 27, 2011 at 5:32 am, Sarah Curtis said:

    I wish people would stop being so cruel to animals. People should love and respect all the creatures and the earth.

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  92. March 27, 2011 at 4:10 am, rinki said:

    I support shark fin ban totally with all my heart

    Reply

  93. March 03, 2011 at 2:16 am, Yvonne Chu said:

    sharksavers.org requests that we send letters to Senator Leland Yee (opponent of bill), and Assemblymembers Paul Fong and Jared Huffman (members of committee the bill is assigned to), as well as your assemblymember. San Francisco’s assemblymember is Fiona Ma and she’s neutral on the shark fin ban.

    A sample letter and email addresses are here

    As of Mar 2, 2011, Senator Leland Yee is still leading the opposition and has suggested ways to change the bill that would significantly weaken it.

    It is especially important for the legislators to receive calls, emails, or letters from: Asians residing anywhere in the world, residents of the three districts that these legislators represent, and other Californians.

    Reply

  94. February 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm, Julie Dunn said:

    I saw this horrible act bieng done to a shark on a TV special. I shrieked in horror, and left the room crying, unconsolable (forever). The image still haunts me. How could anyone do this to a fellow planet earth being? I lost part of my soul that day as I saw a person actually do this this, and then saw the shark sink to the bottom of the ocean, unable to anything. I thought “this is hell’.

    Reply

  95. February 25, 2011 at 10:46 am, heather said:

    i would like to live in a world where their is no abuse and pain.

    things like this need to stop.

    “when we heal the world, we heal ourselves”

    Reply

  96. February 25, 2011 at 10:28 am, shane carnahan said:

    Please just let us think outside ourselves and save a species

    Reply

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