28 June 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio, Yao Ming support passage of California shark fin sale ban

Leonardo DiCaprio along with Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming, multi-platinum recording artist Ke$ha and a host of other celebrities have joined non-profit organizations WildAid, NRDC and HSUS in an effort to urge the California State Senate to pass Assembly Bill 376. The measure, if passed, would ban the sale of shark fins in the Golden State.

Every year approximately 73 million sharks are killed for use in a myriad of different products including the Chinese delicacy, fin soup. Outside of China, California is believed to be the largest source of demand for shark fins.

In an open letter written by DiCaprio to the state senate—and co-signed by stars of film, TV, stage and music—the Golden Globe Award-winning actor states, "Despite fisheries attempts at regulation, the inhumane practice of finning continues unabated too, as does the illegal capture of sharks from marine reserves and sovereign waters."

And celebrities aren't the only ones supporting the legislation.

According to a poll sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 70 percent of Asian Americans residing in California support the passage of AB 376.

After passing a state assembly vote by a comfortable 65-8 margin in May, the next hurdle for AB 376 will be a senate committee vote on June 28.

If you reside in California and wish to show your support click here.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/chaubaby