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The bill has received lots of great press and has made front page news, not just in California, but also in the New York Times.
At the same time both Oregon and Washington are working on similar legislation and in fact the Washington state bill just passed a Senate vote this week 47-0! And all this in the same week that Guam signed its legislation into law. Hawaii enacted its own ban last year. (As in California, the Hawaii bill was co-authored by a Chinese-American legislator.)
Perhaps the most exciting news of all is that a prominent Chinese businessman and legislator, who just made the Forbes billionaire list is proposing a ban in China! According to the Agence France Presse report, such a measure would be highly controversial and take many years, but the fact that it's even being discussed is a quantum leap forward! And it's very likely his proposal was inspired by action in California and along the West Coast.
Meanwhile, we shouldn't underestimate the value of eliminating the market here in the U.S. Tons of shark fins are offloaded on our shores each year. Tons of shark fins equals an awful lot of dead sharks. We must lead the way and do what we can to prevent this wasteful practice that is decimating shark populations around the world.
Just this week, scientists estimated that there are as few as 219 adult great white sharks in the California population. No one knows if that is a population on the rise or decline, but either way, it's a small number. A juvenile great white released from the Monterey Bay Aquarium was finned after being caught in a fishery. That's one shark that never made it into the adult population. It's impossible to know how often juvenile sharks like great whites end up in a bowl of soup. But chances are, while there's a market for fins, it will keep happening.
PS: Have a hankering for shark fin soup, but not at the cost of the planet? Try our faux-fin recipe, created by Asian-Pacific chef and Seafood Champion Peter Pahk!
And if you'd like to hear more from AB 376 author Paul Fong about why he's championing the trade ban, check out this great video interview from the 8Asians website: