What Will The California Politicians Vote?

What Will The California Politicians Vote?

Marie Levine of the Shark Research Institute talks about the proposed law in the state of California:

California AB 376 is important because California is the accumulation point for shark fins from Central and South America that are shipped to the Pacific Rim. Hawaii has already closed its ports to the shark fin, and passage of AB 376 will seriously disrupt and damage the world shark fin trade.

The California State Assembly approved AB376, which bans the sale, trade or possession of shark fins.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Paul Fong and its supporters say the sharks are mutilated and the practice puts them at risk of extinction, which would wreak havoc on underwater ecosystems. Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who co-authored the bill, said, “Shark populations have been on the decline for two decades. The science is unambiguous: Sharks are in trouble.” The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote. If passed, it goes to the Governor for his signature.

In the Senate, the most vocal opposition comes from Senator Leland Yee, who claims that it discriminates against Asians. Polls of the Asian community, however, show overwhelming support of AB 376. The segments of the California Asian community objecting to the bill are for the most part the shark fin traders who recently hired lobbyists to oppose the bill.

Although supporters of AB-376 feel the legislation doesn’t go far enough claiming that a shark can be sold if its fins are removed, the bill is aimed at fins only. Historically, every targeted fishery for sharks has collapsed, and shark populations have taken decades to recover (in some cases they never have). To aid in passage of AB 376. Fong amended the bill to give shark fin traders an extra year to comply. If passed, the bill will take effect January 1, 2013.

It is time to stop those who are pillaging the oceans and its resources – resources that belong to you, to be inherited by your children and future generations
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