WiLDCOAST was a key participant in the coalition that worked on the passage of Califonia’s state bill AB 376 that banned the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins in the state. The barbaric practice of “shark finning,” has detrimentally impacted shark populations worldwide; an estimated 73 million sharks are killed every year just for the lucrative trade in their fins.
During the summer push to pass the bill through the California State Senate, WiLDCOAST staff members Paloma Aguirre and Diane Castaneda traveled to Sacramento to urge Senators to support the passage of the bill.
Fay Crevoshay, Director of Communications, simultaneously organized a targeted media campaign on the Univision and Telemundo networks with environmental super hero, “El Hijo del Santo” to discuss the importance of putting a halt to “finning”in order to protect shark species from extinction. Healthy shark populations are crucial for a healthy and balanced ocean.
The campaign reached an audience of 30.4 million people.
Shark researchers estimate that more than 100 million sharks are killed for their fins every year. These ocean predators have been touted as “vicious killing machines”, and the ultimate ocean enemy, but a reality check will show that we humans are the "vicious killing machines." The reality is that sharks species are extremely endangered and they need to be protected.
“We need to act quickly to stop the senseless slaughter of sharks or we will lose one of our most important ocean predators forever.” said Aida Navarro, WiLDCOAST's director “Since sharks are at the top of the food chain, they play a crucial part of our complex marine ecosystems to guarantee a healthy sea,” she added. WiLDCOAST recently partnered with Maná, the Grammy winning rock group of Mexico to raise awareness about the plight of sharks during the band’s North American tour.
Just across the border in Mexico sharks are threatened by fining, a practice in which fishermen slice off the fins and dump the carcasses back into the sea. Shark fin soup can fetch up to $300 a bowl throughout Asia. For that reason, WiLDCOAST has launched a new initiative to reduce the senseless slaughter of sharks in Mexico and worldwide, before we lose the ocean’s top predator forever. At shark camps throughout the Baja California peninsula, beaches are covered with the carcasses of slaughtered sharks.
The coastal waters of Mexico and San Diego harbor some of the world’s most significant shark populations. There are 370 known species of sharks in the world, 150 of which live in Mexican waters. At least eight are in grave danger of extinction due to shark fishing and fining including hammerhead sharks, blue sharks, bull sharks, sand sharks, tiger sharks, mako sharks, thresher sharks and great white sharks.
“We need to make everyone aware of the fact that shark populations are being wiped out. We are asking everyone, especially in Mexico to stop eating shark meat. We cannot afford to lose these amazingly complex animals forever,” explained Navarro. “Sharks are not a threat to ocean safety in San Diego, but we are a huge threat to the sharks.”