A few days ago, a bill was introduced in the California legislature that would ban the sale, distribution, or possession of shark fins. Now, Hollywood star and general eco-dude Edward Norton has thrown his support behind the bill.
Norton, who works as a UN Environmental Ambassador, says he has seen the effects of shark finning first-hand: “As a life-long diver, I have seen the depletion of sharks caused by the shark fin trade first-hand all over the world from Indonesia to the Galapagos Islands. The Fong/Huffman bill is a vital step towards reducing demand and protecting these important animals and has my full support.”
Animal protection organization WildAid has performed surveys and investigations into the shark finning practice, and found that over 73 million sharks are killed every year, just for their fins, for use in shark fin soup. The dish is currently served in Chinese restaurants across the U.S., and WildAid found that one third of the Chinese restaurants in San Francisco serve it.
When the sharks are caught by shark finning fishermen, their fins are cut off and the sharks are left on board to suffocate or thrown back overboard to die.
Norton is already heavily involved in charity and eco-awareness work, including an activism project called Crowdrise, which uses social networking to get more people involved in charity, fundraising, and activism. Norton called the effort “the Facebook of philanthropy,” and it should help get people involved with issues like these. Hopefully, with Norton backing it, the bill will pick up extra momentum and pass quickly, allowing California to join Hawaii in the group of states banning shark fins.
Just a note to California legislators: remember, this guy played The Incredible Hulk. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry!