Monday, 24 October 2011

California bans sale of shark fins

After more than 27,000 sign online petition, ban becomes law
October 2011: California has become the fourth American state to ban the sale of shark fins. Governor Jerry Brown signed the California shark fin ban into law earlier this month.

Shark finning is a process by which fishermen catch sharks, slice off their fins and tails, then throw the fish back into the water to die. Up to 73 million sharks are killed through finning every year, pushing some shark populations to decline by as much as 90 per cent in recent years. About 85 per cent of U.S. shark-fin consumption occurs in California .

'This just might preserve sharks and the ocean ecosystem'The bill's passage marks a huge win for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance (APA Alliance), an organisation formed to give voice to Asian Americans who support the ban on the sale of shark fins. Bill Wong, a member of the APA Alliance, recruited more than 25,000 people to join a campaign on calling for passage of the ban.

‘We applaud Governor Brown for signing this agreement,' said Bill Wong, creator of the petition on and member of the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance. ‘It puts California at the forefront of the global effort to save sharks led by a broad coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, conservationists, animal rights activists, commercial fishermen, business leaders and artists.

‘The passage of this bill may just be the tipping point that will preserve the shark species and the ocean ecosystem.'

The ban comes into effect on January 1, 2012, but businesses and individuals can sell shark fins obtained before the ban went into effect until July 1, 2013. California is now the fourth U.S. state to enact a ban on the sale of shark fins, joining Hawaii, Washington and Oregon.

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