A Victory for Sharks!
Washington State’s Governor Chris Gregoire has signed into law a ban prohibiting the sale and trade of shark fins in the state. This historic bill passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a vote of 95 to 1 in the House. We at IDA want to thank the Washington state government for making the compassionate and environmentally sound choice to end the terrible practice of shark fining off the coast of Washington.
A California bill that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in California, Assembly Bill (AB) 376, will be up for a vote very soon. This bill was introduced by Assembly members Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). A similar ban in Hawaii passed in 2010 has help start a much needed cascade effect of legislation on the coast of the Western United States to protect the top predator in the ocean.
Shark fining is an industry 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.
California’s (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 TAKE ACTION: If you are a California resident, please contact your representative and ask them to support (AB) 376.