WildAid commends the leadership of Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire for signing SB 5688, further protecting sharks and ocean ecosystems. Sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island, the bill prohibits the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins or derivative products. Previously passed by unanimous vote by the Washington Senate, the House voted 95 to 1 in favor of it.
A Chinese lawmaker has proposed that the country's top legislature ban the trade of shark fin, a high-end delicacy consumed by wealthy people in China and East Asia.
Shark-fin trading generates enormous profits, but encourages overfishing and brutal slaughter of sharks, of which some 30 species are near extinction, said Ding Liguo, deputy to the National People's Congress, the top legislature.
He has filed a formal written proposal to the legislature, together with a dozen of other lawmakers.
With passage of Bill 44, the US Territory of Guam has now become the third place in the Pacific that has taken a definite stand against shark finning, the trade of fins and shark fin soup.
June 2010 marked the legislative breakthrough effort of the Hawaii shark fin bill. In January 2011 the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands followed and now Guam has joined them by passing Senate bill 44-31.
California Assembly Members Paul Fong and Jared Huffman today introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of shark fins in California to the State Assembly. California is one of the largest sources of demand for shark fin outside Asia and this bill would represent a major step towards reducing pressure on shark populations. Furthermore the bill complements the ban introduced in both Hawaii and the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands (CNMI) as well as restrictions established by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).