Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 376, which bans the sale and possession of shark fins in California. 10/7/2011. California now becomes the largest economy in the world to outlaw the destructive shark fin trade.
AB 376 was authored by Assemblymembers Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). AB 376 passed the Assembly by a vote of 65 to 8 on May 23rd and the Senate on September 6th with a vote of 25 to 9. Both of the votes were bipartisan. We thank Assemblymen Fong and Huffman for fighting so long and hard for this bill.
In his statement, Governor Brown stated, "The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans. Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing. In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill."
California is a beacon for other states and countries with Governor Brown's signing of this bill to ban the shark fin trade. There is international momentum towards shark protection, with the recent declaration of a shark sanctuary in the Marshall Islands and previous announcements in Palau, the Maldives, the Bahamas, Honduras, and Raja Ampat Indonesia. Mexico recently declared a moratorium on shark fishing. Costa Rica has tripled the size of its world-famous sanctuary in Cocos Island. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands outlawed the shark fin trade earlier this year.