Follow-up news on sharks

Last month I wrote about a California bill passed by both houses of the legislature that would outlaw the trade in shark fins. These are used in some Asian cuisines and are procured by cutting fins off living sharks and throwing them back into the ocean to die a slow death.

Today I’m pleased to help spread the news that indeed, yesterday Governor Brown did sign the bill. Sharks are not cuddly like cheetah kittens, or cute like pandas, or necessary to life like bees, but they play an important role in ocean life. And don’t you think that the killing of 73 million of them a year should stop?

In other good news, a sanctuary for sharks was announced this week in and around the Marshall Islands, which are located in the central Pacific. “Sanctuary” in this case means that commercial fishing of sharks is now prohibited in over 750,000 square miles of ocean.

The Pew Environment Group is helping with shark conservation. Its shark conservation director Matt Rand said, “The Marshall Islands have joined Palau, the MaldivesHonduras, the Bahamas and Tokelau in delivering the gold standard of protection for ensuring shark survival,” Rand said. “We look forward to helping other countries enlist in this cause.”

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