Governor Signs California Shark Protection Act

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SACRAMENTO — The California Shark Protection Act, AB 376, authored by Assemblymembers Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.

“Gov. Brown has chosen to protect our ocean’s ecosystem and help end the decimation of the shark population,” said Fong. “As the second-largest consumer of shark fins, California is now a partner in the global effort to end the practice of finning and in the preservation of the shark population for generations to come.

“I would like to thank the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Ocean Awareness Research & Education, WildAid, Sea Stewards, and the numerous supporters of this historic act for their tireless efforts in ensuring the passage and signature of this bill throughout the process. It is because of your advocacy that the California Shark Protection Act is now law.”

“With the governor’s signature today, California leads the way in ending the destruction of shark species globally,” said Huffman. “Californians can be proud of their role in giving these remarkable top predators a chance to recover their populations and helping to restore balance to our oceans.”

“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 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, Brown also signed a companion bill by Fong, AB 853, which allows existing stocks of on-hand shark fins to be sold until July 1, 2013.

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