October 14th, 2011 by Webmaster
On Friday, October 7, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 376, the California Shark Protection Act into law. As of July 1, 2013, it will be illegal to possess, sell, trade and/or distribute shark fins in California. This effectively shuts down the shark fin trade in the U.S. Pacific as California joins Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in banning shark finning. The California Shark Protection Act passed both houses of the Legislature with bi-partisan support.
Every year, tens of millions of sharks are killed for the tasteless, “luxury” shark fin soup. This unnecessary dish has been a major contributor to the near collapse of many shark species world-wide. As the top predator in the marine food web, sharks maintain the natural balance in our oceans. Without them, other ocean species will disappear and ocean ecosystems will collapse. Scientists are warning that the massive decline of sharks is having a devastating effect on the marine ecosystem and they say that an estimate 34% of the world’s sharks are near extinction, and almost all shark species are in decline.
IDA would like to thank Governor Brown and all the legislators who voted for this ban. California is the 2nd largest consumer of shark fin in the world but will now be a leader in the global effort to end the practice of finning and in the preservation of the ocean ecosystem for generations to come.