Victory for Care2 members!
Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 376, meaning the sale, possession or distribution of shark fins is banned in California.
Two Care2 Petitions Helped Win This Fight
The bill, authored by Democratic Assemblyman Paul Fong of Cupertino, had split the Asian delegation in the California Legislature. Fong said it is needed to protect endangered shark species, but others called the measure racist because the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.
Governor Brown: Shark Finning Is Cruel And Harmful To Our Oceans
But Governor Brown has signed the bill, and here’s an excerpt from his statement:
“The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans,” said Governor Brown. “Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing. In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill.”
While many countries have already banned the practice, it continues unabated in unregulated international waters. By banning the possession and sale of shark fins, California joins Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam in an effort to reduce demand and protect shark populations.
The Fight Against Shark Finning Continues Around The World
The bill takes effect in January, 2012 in California, but this fight continues to gain momentum around the world. Countries from Canada to Singapore are taking steps to stop or limit the sale and trade of these fins due to the brutal practices involved in acquiring them.
Thank you so much, Care2 members, for taking action and making a real difference.
Photo Credit: wanto99