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At the Galapagos, all the right legislation is in place (shark fin exports are illegal, shark fishing is illegal, longlining is illegal) but shark populations continue to plunge. Schools of 300 or more hammerhead sharks are now rare, though visitors are happy to see 30 sharks.
If we want our children to still be able to see hammerheads when they visit the Galapagos in another few decades, we need a complete ban that will be simple to enforce. This ban can always be lifted or modified when shark populations recover a bit.
Remember, we're setting a model that we hope other countries like Hong Kong and China will follow. Let's start with a strong one.
As a Chinese immigrant from Singapore and Hong Kong who grew up eating shark fin soup, I do not perceive the shark fin ban to be a cultural attack at all. Shark fin is not a cultural delicacy that has been singled out to be banned — foie gras has already been banned. Even China is considering a ban on shark fin trade: Ding Liguo, deputy to the National People's Congress, proposed that China's top legislature ban the trade of shark fin.
I urge everyone to email your assemblymember and senator in support of the shark fin ban (Assembly Bill 376). More information is at: http://sharksavers.org/en/blogs/722-suppor… and http://posthumananimal.blogspot.com
Assemblymember Bill Berryhill's email is: email@example.com
As to the comment that sharks aren't huggable like pandas, I was amazed to see these friendly sharks who like being petted and hugged: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slsIfINSKNU
Hugging pandas, on the other hand, is definitely not recommended.
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