Around the world, two sharks die every second –- up to 70 million a year. That’s the estimate from scientists on the number of sharks being removed from our oceans, mostly just for their fins. It’s a staggering number, whichever way you slice it.
Fortunately the tide is turning and many nations and governments, including the U.S., (thanks to you!) have restricted or banned finning in their waters. Efforts now must turn to trade and distribution. You can’t legally catch and cut the fins off a shark in U.S. waters, but it is legal to own, sell or distribute the fins!
States can close this loophole; by banning the sale of shark fins, they can eliminate the market -– and go a long way toward protecting them in the wild.
Now California has a chance to take action – in a big way.
Two California state legislators Assemblymembers Paul Fong and Jared Huffman, have introduced legislation (AB 376) that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in California. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is proud to be a lead supporter of the bill and you can send a electronic letter to your Assemblymember today!
Action can’t come too quickly. Given the numbers of sharks dying each year how can they keep up with the demand? The simple answer is they can’t. Like us, sharks reproduce late in life and have few offspring. Shark populations worldwide are in serious decline.
The situation is significant because of the pivotal role sharks play in the food web, maintaining the delicate balance of life in the oceans. When you remove a top predator, the consequences are far-reaching and still little understood.
Over the coming months, we'll carefully follow and continue to support bill AB 376 as it makes it way through the California legislature. We’ll be sure to let you know when you can be a voice for sharks and healthy oceans and support the efforts of Fong and Huffman as ocean advocates.
Sharks have roamed our oceans for millions of years. Today, we’re faced with the reality that a third of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction, all for a simple bowl of soup. We applaud the efforts of governments and businesses who have pledged not to serve shark fin soup and to those chefs who are finding alternatives.