June 24, 2011
Leonardo DiCaprio and Friends Urge Calif. Senators to Save Sharks
This June, world-famous actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio penned a letter to members of the California State Senate in support of Assembly Bill 376, which would prohibit the sale of shark fins in California. (Read Leonardo's letter»)
The bill, backed by The HSUS, WildAid, and the Natural Resources Defense Council and authored by California Assembly Members Paul Fong and Jared Huffman, is an effort to save sharks and the oceans by banning the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in California. In addition to DiCaprio, AB 376 is supported by a host of prominent celebrities. Among them are Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Ke$ha, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd and Chinese basketball great Yao Ming.
California is considered the largest source of demand for shark fin outside Asia, and this bill would represent a major step toward reducing pressure on shark populations. Every year fins from up to 73 million sharks are used for shark fin soup, which is contributing to the decimation of shark populations worldwide so that now one-third of open ocean (pelagic) shark species are threatened with extinction. As sharks play a vital role in the oceans, their depletion could cause irreparable damage to marine ecosystems.
DiCaprio teams with the NGOs to bring attention to dwindling shark populations worldwide. “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,” writes DiCaprio.
Other celebrities in support of AB 376 include: Nigel Barker, Steve Berra, Rachel Bilson, Colbie Caillat, Philippe Cousteau, Robert Davi, Emily Deschanel, Flea, Megan Fox, Elizabeth Gore, Ariana Grande, Lucas Haas, Kelly Hu, Anthony Keidis, Wendie Malick, Alyssa Milano, Dominic Monaghan, Mike Muller, Sally Pressman, Lindsay Pulsipher, Amanda Righetti, Alexander Skarsgård, Ian Somerhalder, Hal Sparks, Steve-O, Ben Stiller, Ethan Suplee, Sam Trammell, and Michael Vartan.