Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lend a hand to save some fins!

COARE's Executive Director
speaking in favor of AB 376
As most of you assuredly know, COARE has been very involved in recent legislative efforts to ban the sale, trade, possession, and distribution of shark fins in several places.

As reported in our last newsletter, California's Assembly Bill (AB) 376 has passed the Assembly and is now in the State Senate.  We'll save the details for an upcoming newsletter, but it is now facing a very tough battle in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

The opposition to AB 376 (shark fin traders) have hired two high powered lobbying firms to help kill the bill.  With the help of these lobby firms, the opposition has begun an effective campaign of mistruths and deceptive messaging, all designed to detract from the matter at hand – that our sharks are in terrible danger, and that by banning the trade of shark fins, we can do something to help.

The opposition has even gone as far as to claim that shark populations are fine and that sharks are not endangered.  They have also testified that shark fins sales and the act of finning is not responsible for the bulk of shark fishing.

Unfortunately, they're doing a good job of misleading some of the Senators, and we need to show our support.  If the bill does not pass this Senate policy committee, it will die.  That's obscene considering the reality – the situation with shark populations worldwide being decimated to satisfy the desire for a delicacy, and the fact that we have a simple path to reduce that demand – but it's a very real possibility, that this bill will not continue to be considered if we are not able to help some of our Senators see the truth.

This following applies mostly to California Residents, but we're appealing to all our readers in the hopes that you can all reach out to your California friends and relatives, and that you can repost this  blog and the following URL to your social networks.

California State Capitol Building

The bill will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee THIS COMING TUESDAY, 28 June 2011, and we are asking that you help us show support by calling the Senators on the committee (if you are one of their constituents) on MONDAY, 27 June.

Your TWO minutes can help save MILLIONS of sharks.

Here are the Committee members who could use persuading:

  • Senator Fran Pavley, (Los Angeles, Ventura), 916-651-4023
  • Senator Doug LaMalfa, (Butte, Colusa, Del norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yuba), 916-651-4004
  • Senator Anthony Cannella, (Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus),916-651-4012
  • Senator Jean Fuller, (Inyo, Kern, San Bernardino, Tulare), 916-651-4018
  • Senator Alex Padilla, (Los Angeles), 916-651-4020
  • Senator Lois Wolk, (Davis, Fairfield, Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Vacaville, West Sacramento), 916-651-4005

A few members made very positive and supporting comments during the June 14th hearing.
If any of the following are your Senators, please consider calling them and thanking them for their support:

  • Senator Noreen Evans, (Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma), 916-651-4002
  • Senator Christine Kehoe, (San Diego), 916-651-4039
  • Senator Joe Simitian, (San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz), 916-651-4011

If you're not sure who your Senator is, you can use this form to find out.

If you or anyone you know resides in these areas, please visit: for more information, and pass this along as appropriate.

You won't need to go into great detail when you call.
When you call, an office staff member will answer.

Simply say:
    "I am a member of your district and I urge you to support A.B. 376, the bill to ban shark fins in California." 

That's it!  You've helped.

We need you to call by 4pm PT on Monday (27 June) because the committee will vote on Tuesday morning.

To make the matter seem like it affects more people than it does, the opposition has taken to bussing in "concerned citizens", who are mostly retired or unemployed older folks lured into the mix by the offer of a free meal.  For those not familiar with Chinese culture, getting something for free or striking a good "deal" is akin to finding money in an old coat pocket.  Actually, it's better; the money in that coat pocket was yours to begin with, whereas the free meal is like winning the lottery.

We're hoping to offset some of the protesters that will be bussed in for Tuesday's Senate Committee Hearing by rallying some of you.  If any of you are in the area, we encourage you to join us.  Our colleagues at Sea Stewards have arranged a bus from Marin and Richmond, and lunch will be provided.  (Yes, you too will get a free lunch.)  The bus will leaves the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal at Larkspur Landing at 06:30 and will then head over the Richmond San Rafael Bridge to Richmond BART for a pick up at 07:00... then off to Sacramento.  Lunch will be provided, and we should have you all back in the Bay Area by 2pm.

Please contact Christopher at 510-495-7875 or info [at] for more information or to reserve a spot on the bus.

For those near Sacramento or who are traveling separately, the Committee Meeting will begin at 09:30am on Tuesday, 28 June, in Senate Room 112.  We recommend you arrive early, so that you can get a seat ahead of all the opposition.

Thank you once again for your support!
 - Christopher Chin
   Executive Director


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