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Sunday
Mar062011

Laws To End Brutal Shark Finning Offends Some Chinese Americans

The global movement to ban the sale of shark fins is making headway in America. The California legislature is considering a bill that would ban the sale and possession of shark fins, infuriating some who see the proposed law as an assault against their nationalistic pride.

Just as the Japanese nationalists of Taiji, Japan demand their right to kill and eat as many dolphins as they desire, passionate grocery store owners in San Francisco’s Chinatown are furious at lawmakers and shark-saving actvists who commit to curtailing the bloody, brutal practice of shark finning.

Hawaii already has a law giving restaurants until June 30 to cook or dispose of fin inventories, writes the NY Times. Bills are under consideration in Oregon and Washington State.

Shark fins in varying grades can sell for $800 for a 1.6-pound bag in America. China’s expanding middle class is demanding more shark fins as a sign of growing prosperity.

Shark finning is one of the most brutal activities of the sea. The fins are hacked off a live shark, which is then thrown overboard where it sinks to the bottom of the sea and dies slowly.

Because America has demonized sharks, we are more insensitive to the practice of shark finning, perhaps even believing subconsciously that sharks get what they deserve. As Sea Shepherd reminds us, the ecosystem of the sea is at stake, if sharks become extinct.

Performance artist Alice Newstead is so committed to saving the 100 million sharks slaughtered each year just for their fins, that she hung in a LUSH cosmetics window on Regents Street, London in 2008, with fish hooks in her back. 

Sea Shepherd lauded her efforts, saying:

 “We applaud Alice for her courageousness in using her body as a tool to help educate consumers about the urgent need to protect sharks. She is an inspiration to us all.”

“Sea Shepherd will be presenting Alice Newstead with an award for courage for her incredible achievement in focusing public attention on the worldwide slaughter of sharks,” said Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd. “What she and LUSH have contributed to this conservation effort is enormous. The cruelty of the shark finning industry was brought intimately into focus with the piercing of Alice’s flesh and the dripping of her blood down her back. LUSH, Sea Shepherd, and Alice are very much aware that if we drive sharks to extinction, we will destroy our oceans, and if we do that, civilization will collapse and humanity will disappear. What Alice did was not just for the saving of sharks, but for the salvation of humankind. Our admiration for her sacrifice is profound, and the scars that she will bear represent a rare courage demonstrating that we all must do what we can with the talents we possess to save our oceans.” via IndyBay

Alice Newstead Submita to the Horros of Shark Finning AOC Green Beings

 

 

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