Actress Bo Derek in Sacramento yesterday to speak up for sharks.
Derek and other advocates were in the state capital to voice their support for the bill AB376. The legislation would ban and trading, selling or possession of shark fins, most often used in shark fin soup. Finning has been denounced as cruel by many animal organizations and advocates as it involves cutting off the fin, then throwing the sharks back into the water, leaving them to slowly bleed to death.
According to ABC News, the actress called the process “deplorable,” and is also concerned with the threat to increasing threat of extinction. “Our shark populations are being decimated, probably 73 million a year.” Marine biologist Chris Lowe was also quoted as saying, “Despite the fact that we have protection and regulations that prohibit fishers from just finning here in the U.S., we’re still importing shark fins from other places where that is just rampant…Sharks simply don’t have the capability to recover like many other populations, so that’s the inherent danger.” The article reports that California is the “largest consumer of shark fins outside of Asia” and this legislation has the potential to make a big impact for sharks.
According to the Huffington Post, Derek referred to the shark fin trade as a “global environmental crisis,” saying that although sharks have been around hundreds of millions of years, “many stocks may be wiped out.”
The bill has passed California’s House and is expected to come to a vote in the state Senate within the next thirty days.