California AB 376 shark fin ban Mid-August update and action alert

Posted on August 19, 2011
Written by: Kevin Sullivan

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Monday, August 15th was an exciting day in Sacramento. Conservation organizations, including Shark Savers, from around California and the nation rallied for “Shark Day” on the capitol north lawn to support the proposed legislation to ban the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins in California.

The experience both celebratory, with so many advocates for sharks gathering and expressing themselves, as well as urgent and serious. Personal statements of support were given by all the Shark Day attendees young and old, from all walks of life, some in ties and some in shark suits!!

The occasion also marked the public hearing held by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Powerful witness testimony to the Committee was provided by actress and conservation activist Bo Derek, Shark Savers' Board Director Sue Chen, and Wild Aid Executive Director Peter Knights.

But the opposition was in attendance and in force that day as well, even disrupting the committee meeting with a chant of “No on AB 376!”. The vociferous oppostion drove home the point that we are still very much in need of public support for the bill.

AB 376 is now in a 10 day "suspension period". During the suspension period, the authors are expected to be pressured by the opposition to add amendments to the bill. Opposition lobbyists are hard at work trying to influence not just committee members, but all the Senators and their staffs with misleading information and unworkable alternatives in preparation for the full Senate debate.

And our advocates are working just as hard to counter this assault with both facts and the persuasive efforts of thousands of consitituents. We will be urging the authors and other senators to preserve the bill without amendments, which would only weaken the bill.

During this time it is important that we maintain pressure on the Appropriations committee Senators and tell them to support AB 376 and release it from suspension for debate on the main Senate floor without amendments.

Here's what you can do, California residents:

Call the Senators of the Appropriations Committee to affirm your support of AB 376 without amendments. A list of the Appropriations committee Senators may be found here: Aug. 8 Action Alert. These three senators especially need to hear from you:

Elaine Alquist
Bill Emmerson
Mimi Walters

Call your senator. The time is now to call your California Senator and tell them that you want them to support AB 376! Click here to identify your Senator through your zip code.

Call all the senators. If you really want to do all you can to pass this bill, please call each and every one of the 40 Senators. We know this may be a lot to ask, but it's going to take as many of us calling as many of these senators as we can to get this bill passed. Even if you can only call a handful, please do it. Here is a list of all of the California senators: http://senate.ca.gov/senators

Use Shark Saver's new online letter to send your sentator a letter. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/banthefin-AB376/ It will take just a minute to send this letter to your senator, if you prefer that to a phone call. This online letter can easily be shared with your California friends, so please use this to broadcast this out to your personal network and ask them to sign.

We continue to be thankful for the support Californians have shown for this important legislation, and your patience with the e-mails you receive from us asking for your help. This fight is now in the 12th round, and it is critical that your Senators know that what they do in office matters to the people of California.

Not a California resident?

Sign our Ban the Fin petition. Shark fin bans, similar to the one we are fighting for in California, will be initiated in communities everywhere. We have launched our Ban the Fin campaign to enable individuals to effectively work towards these bans. The petitions will create a signature bank that can be used in each and every one of these efforts to Ban the Fin.

US residents petition click here.
Canadian residents petition click here
Other countries: more petitions are on the way, but feel free to sign the existing petitions for now.

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