May 25, 2011

Great news!  Bill AB 376, introduced by California Assembly members Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) to ensure that California ceases to be both a major supplier and consumer of shark fins through a ban on the possession, sale, trade and distribution of fins, has passed its first major hurdle.  Yesterday the bill was introduced on the California Assembly floor and was voted through by a vote of 65-8.  BAM!

And a lot of the credit for this victory goes to the 17,788 Defenders supporters in California who let their representatives know that they wanted to protect sharks from finning, a brutal practice that claims the lives of over 73 million sharks each year and involves cutting off the shark’s fins, often while it is still alive, and throwing the shark back overboard to eventually die.  Many shark populations have collapsed worldwide due to overfishing, with some populations declining as much as 90-99% .  This is a big first step in protecting sharks and ensuring their survival and for your help in this first victory we here at Defenders want to thank you!

No word yet on when bill AB 376 will be introduced to the Senate but it looks like it will be sometime in mid to late June.  We hope we can count on you again when the time comes to contact your senators and to tell them to protect these magnificent ocean dwellers.  And once again, thank you very much for your support not only on this, but on all our issues!

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