Governor Jerry Brown signed the shark fin ban, AB 376, into law on October 7 marking a huge win for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance (APA Alliance), an organization that formed to give voice to Asian Americans who support the ban on the sale of shark fins. Bill Wong, a member of the APA Alliance, recruited more than 25,000 people to join a campaign on Change.org calling for passage of the ban.
It’s also a big win for the sharks.
Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon have already outlawed the sale of shark fins, a market that is supplied by shark finning, wherein sharks are caught, their fins and tails are sliced off and they are dumped back into the water to sink and die. Up to 73 million sharks are killed through finning every year, pushing some shark populations to decline by as much as 90 percent in recent years. Lobbyists for both fin importers and the restaurant industry pressed Gov. Brown to veto the bill, as finning represents a substantial industry. About 85 percent of U.S. shark fin consumption has historically occurred in California , making this landmark conservation legislation.