Newsflash! Shark Protection Bill Passes in California!

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation to protect the oceans and the environment.  AB 376, by Assemblyman Paul Fong of Cupertino and Jared Huffman of San Rafael, bans the possession and sale of shark fins in California. The practice of “finning” for culinary purposes has led to substantial declines in shark populations everywhere.

“The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans,” said Governor Brown. “Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing. In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill.”

With three quarters of the shark fins entering the United States coming through California, this legislation will have a major effect on protecting sharks worldwide.

It’s Sharktober at the California Academy of Science!

For the third year in a row, shark supporters from far and wide converged on the California Academy of Science for a turbo-charged Sharktoberfest Nightlife Event!  The celebrations will continue all month in San Francisco, sponsored by Sea Stewards – and hopefully we’ll have lots to celebrate soon, as we expect that Governor Jerry Brown will sign AB376 banning the sale of shark fins in California within days. Tonight we even had Dr. John McCosker one of the world’s foremost shark experts sharing fascinating shark facts with visitors up close and personal.

Next up in Sharktober, an all day family event at the Farallones Marine Sanctuary at Crissy Field – Come build a shark with our special guest & dance to live music al fresco overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge! Events will continue all month – check The Sea Stewards Website for details.  Join Sea Stewards to protect sharks and all ocean life!

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#Occupy The Ocean

By Special Guest Blogger, Wallace J. Nichols

The ocean is the single biggest feature of our planet.

From one million miles away we resemble a small blue marble, from one billion miles a pale blue dot.

The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, holds more than 80% of its biodiversity and 90% of its habitat.

Phytoplankton in the ocean provide more than half of our oxygen and provides the basis of the primary protein for more than a billion people.

More than half a billion people, mostly artisanal fishers, owe their livelihoods to the seafood industry.

Humans have derived unmeasurable inspiration, joy, recreation and relaxation from the ocean for millennia.

But we have treated the ocean poorly, and its decline in recent decades has been catastrophic for our planet and its people.

We have put too much into the ocean, in the form of oil, sewage, fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, plastic pollution, noise and increasing levels of CO2.

We have taken too much out of the ocean by subsidizing and encouraging inefficient and destructive overfishing, bottom trawling, long-lining, purse seining, dynamite fishing, irresponsible aquaculture and illegal hunting.

We have destroyed the edge of the ocean — places like wetlands, kelp forests, mangrove forests, river deltas, coral reefs and seagrass beds — where diversity and abundance once thrived, now turned into dead zones growing in size and number.

As a result of our behavior, the wildest animals and most remote beaches on the planet carry plastic in them, coral reefs are on the verge of disappearing, shark populations have been decimated, the ocean is warming and becoming more acidic and fisheries are predicted to collapse globally.

This situation will only continue to spiral downward, unless we listen, learn and change.

To slow, stop and then reverse this trend will take immediate, widespread and drastic actions, not isolated, small and incremental adjustments.

The control large corporations have over our political processes must be severed, bold legislation enacted and new behavior patterns widely adopted.

We need an Ocean Revolution.

The passionate individuals, organizations, expertise and solutions needed to do this exist around the world.

What is needed is a massive boost in personal and political will alongside strong actions and louder voices.

It is our coast and our ocean.

The time is now to Occupy The Ocean.