Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation to protect the oceans and the environment. AB 376, by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), bans the possession and sale of shark fins in California. The practice of "finning" for culinary purposes has led to substantial declines in shark populations worldwide.
"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," said Governor Brown. "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."
While many countries have already banned the practice, it continues unabated in unregulated international waters. By banning the possession and sale of shark fins, California joins Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam in an effort to reduce demand and protect shark populations.
In addition to AB 376, Governor Brown also signed a companion bill by Assemblyman Fong, AB 853, which allows existing stocks of on-hand shark fins to be sold until July 1, 2013.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html.