Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 376 into law -- legislation that will ban the import, possession, and sale of shark fins in the state of California. Since California is one of the largest markets for shark fins outside of Asia, this act is a significant step toward increasing global protection of sharks and sustaining the health of our oceans.
On both sides of the world, the movement to ban the trade and sale of shark fin products has gained an impressive roster of noteworthy supporters including Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsey, Richard Branson, Yao Ming, Mario Batali, Edward Norton, and Chinese billionaire Zhang Yue.
International conservation organization WildAid, Chinese basketball star and WildAid Ambassador, Yao Ming, and leading Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yue have joined forces with British entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson and his non-profit foundation Virgin Unite, in a global campaign to save sharks. Branson and Yao filmed public service announcements in support of WildAid’s shark campaign drawing attention to the increasing demand for shark fin soup and the devastating effect this demand is having on global shark populations.
WildAid Canada is thrilled by the news that Canadian Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly will be introducing federal legislation banning the trade in shark fin.
“Fin Donnelly’s proposal is a key step in the growing campaign to address the global problem of the shark fin trade,” said Rob Sinclair, Executive Director of WildAid Canada. “His leadership is the strongest example yet of a Canadian elected official taking action to counter this global threat.”
The California Senate passed Assembly Bill 376 today by a vote of 25 to 9. The bill, which previously passed the state Assembly by a vote of 60 to 8, effectively prohibits the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins within the state. Given his strong environmental record, Governor Brown is expected to sign this into law as soon as next week. California is said to be the largest source of demand for shark fins outside of Asia, so this bill represents a major step toward reducing pressure on shark populations.