In a huge victory for animals, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill banning the sale, possession and trade of shark fins in California. The bill had been backed by animal protection giants like HSUS and WildAid as well as celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Danson, James Cameron, Edward Norton, Scarlet Johansson, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, Richard Branson and Yao Ming.
DiCaprio celebrated the victory by posting on his facebook page and thanking everyone who helped pass this historic legislation. “Thanks for all your calls, emails, signatures, posts and retweets. We did it!!”
Danson said in an interview about what this ban means for sharks, “This is a big step in the right direction. California is responsible for selling, trading and distributing large amounts of shark fins that come from all over the world…It joins new legislation recently passed in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, adding up to coast wide protections for sharks, which is great news and a big improvement over just a couple of years ago. Sharks are in real trouble and they need all the help they can get.”
Up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins. They are captured, their fins are cut off and then they are tossed back into the Ocean, often still alive, to bleed to death or become food for predators. In the past few decades shark populations have been decimated from overfishing.
Sharks, in addition to deserving more than the painful deaths inflicted by finning, are a vital part of the ocean’s ecosystem. We hope this ban goes a long way in helping to restore their numbers and protect these creatures.
If you happen to be afraid of sharks, we’ll leave you with these wise words from Ted Danson: “You’re more likely to be killed by your kitchen toaster than a shark!”