Thanks to your support, Shark Stewards has experienced numerous victories for sharks in the past 8 years, including several wins in 2014.
Starting with the California Shark Fin Ban which we initially introduced in 2007, and which finally achieved success with a huge coalition and the help Congressman Jared Hoffman and Assemblyman Paul Fong five years later, we have advised, been active in or lead 8 other US state shark fin bans. With Mr. Huffman’s help we were able to override NOAA’s preemption language that would have made state shark fin’s invalid this year. A lawsuit filed against our State’s shark fin ban was dismissed in the Federal Appeals Court. One of the plaintiffs suffered a sting operation and was cited for over 2000 pounds of shark fin in San Francisco based on a little information sent their way;) Their Chinese merchant’s association dropped off the lawsuit the following week.
I am currently Co-chairing the Golden Gate Marine Protective Area Collaborative, educating, facilitating science and compliance in our coastal and Farallon Island marine protected areas and Sanctuary. Our plan is to build this movement into the San Francisco Bay to create the first Shark Sanctuary in North America. The citizen science Shark Watch program, sponsored by Patagonia is collecting data and support for that effort.
Shark Fin Trade
We are currently active in monitoring the illegal shark fin trade in CA, and the illicit but still legal trade of shark fns across the Pacific.
With our Asian–Pacific shark coalition we have urged four major hotel chains and 25 airlines to stop serving shark fins soup and/or stopped carrying shark fin as cargo. We are now working on United Airlines as the largest carrier in the world to stop carrying shark fin and I feel very hopeful about making a joint statement with them soon on ocean sustainability.
As a “kelp roots” effort we rely on your efforts to keep the ocean healthy and sharks swimming. Please share the message with your friends that the health of the ocean relies on sharks and sharks need our love and our support.
On a personal note, my rotator cuff torn in Cambodia is stitched up and we are returning to Asia on a National Geographic Grant and to support the Shark Sanctuary in Borneo. I’m hoping to be swimming for sharks again soon. Follow our conservation adventure through our videos and our Ocean Voices Blog and our Newsletter.
All the best in 2015!