Thank goodness I live in California- this week the CA Legislature sent Gov. Brown a bill banning the sale, trade or possession of shark fins. The legislation passed 25-9 in the CA State Senate! Two senators had the audacity to say that bill was “racist” because shark fins were used in some Asian cultures as a delicacy…I’m sorry I don’t care if you consider it a delicacy- capturing sharks, cutting their fins off, and dropping them back into the water is cruel, and horrid. An estimated 25-73 million innocent sharks are killed each year for their fins…so sad.
The bill was introduced by Assembly member Paul Fong- and it was supported by my very own Senator from PASADENA Carol Liu!!! She stated that this bill was needed to protect endangered shark species. I live in Pasadena, and I’m so happy to see that she was behind this bill- go Carol!
Shark fins can be sold for $600/lb and even $80 for a bowl of SOUP! Ridiculous I say.
San Diego based Sentaor, Christine Kehoe, carried the bill through Senate. She mentions that California has the second highest demand for shark fins outside of Asia. Kehoe estimates that 85% of dried shark fin imports to the US come through California- making this legislation of uttermost importance with the restriction of shark fin trade throughout the US and abroad.
Co-sponsoring the bill was the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of the Oceans. I used to volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium– they have such an amazing impact on the world with their efforts in protecting our oceans and ocean creatures.
Another co-sponsor of the bill was the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance. Although, some Chinese-American Senators felt different about the legislation. But Chris Chin, an executive director of San Fran-based Center of Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, wrote in an email mentioning that policymakers were targeting a major CAUSE of shark mortality rather than a specific ETHNIC group. I concur Chris.
Let’s hope Gov. Jerry Brown does the right thing.