The global movement against the shark fin trade gains momentum with Chile, the Bahamas and Fiji all introducing legislation this week that would reduce the trade.
Not only is the declining shark population potentially devastating to marine ecosystems, but also certain nations are realizing the economic value of sharks as a tourist draw. According to the Pew Environmental Group, tourism brings in USD$80 million annually in the Bahamas, with each reef shark estimated to be worth about USD$250,000.
Yesterday the California Senate’s Natural Resources Committee voted 5-0 (with two abstentions) to support AB 376, outlawing the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in California with a strong proviso that some type of amendment be incorporated to allow the possibility of some shark fin from “sustainable” sources.
Leonardo DiCaprio and a long list of prominent celebrities including athlete Yao Ming, actors Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Megan Fox and pop star Ke$ha have written a joint letter to members of the California State Senate supporting Assembly Bill 376, which would ban the sale of shark fins in California.
When a great injustice is being done and when the rational pleas of compassionate people fail to persuade the perpetrators of the injustice to change their ways, and even when there is no shame public enough to change the behavior that causes the injustice, that is where the law begins.
A pair of Toronto city councillors will propose a city-wide ban of the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin at a press conference on Monday.
Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam are aiming to gather support from Toronto residents with a campaign called "Celebrate Sharks Summer Tour." The campaign intends to create a petition with 10,000 signatures.
The councillors will be joined by Rob Steward, the award-winning documentary filmmaker of "Sharkwater," and Rob Sinclair, the executive director of WildAid Canada.