California AB 376 Talking Points

Posted on August 27, 2011
Written by: Shark Savers

California AB 376 to be voted on by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, August 25.

California residents: If you haven't already done so, please call your senators todayClick here to identify your Senator through your zip code. If you can, call all of the California senators: http://senate.ca.gov/senators . These three senators especially need to hear from you:

Elaine Alquist
Bill Emmerson
Mimi Walters

Talking Points: You won't need to engage in a conversation, but here are talking points:

  1. The Shark Fin Trade Destroys Shark Populations: The shark fin trade is like the now-illegal trades in ivory, rhino horns, and bear paws, where the demand for a single high-value animal part drives the unsustainable slaughter and waste of the whole animal. This trade is resulting in shark populations collapsing in many parts of the world.

  2. California Contributes to the Problem: California imports and re-exports shark fins from all over the world, including Asia. Approximately 85% of all U.S. dried shark fin imports come through California. Los Angeles and San Francisco are recognized points of entry for the shark fin trade. The U.S. accounts for 70% of all shark fin imports outside of Asia.

  3. Only a Trade Ban Can End California's Contribution and Help Save Sharks:The shark fin trade is driven by fishing and finning throughout the world, including international waters. The product is imported to California and the U.S.

  4. AB 376 is not a cultural attack: As many in the Chinese community have pointed out, consuming shark fin has never been a defining aspect of Chinese culture. Rather, it is a luxury or extravagance that was originally enjoyed by royalty or the very wealthy, and now by many. In addition, practices do change over time. Others have pointed out that the practice of foot-binding among women was associated with status and beauty until it was banned in 1912 because of its cruelty. In addition, Chinese Civil Right leaders have publically stated that this bill does not discriminate towards Chinese Americans, and the bill has official support from groups such as the TACL (Taiwanese American Citizens League) and TJCC-NA (Taiwanese Junior Chamber of Commerce North America). Finally, polling shows that 70% of California Chinese American voters support AB 376.

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.

Thank you for your continued support of sharks and AB 376.