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March 9, 2011

HSI Applauds Guam Governor for Signing Shark Protection Bill

Humane Society International

  • Members of local advocacy group Shark Tsunami joined Governor Calvo (center) for the signing of Bill 44-31. Tim Rock/Double Blue

Humane Society International applauds the governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, for signing into law Bill 44-31, which will give sharks much-needed protection. The law prohibits any person from possessing, selling or distributing shark fins in Guam. The bill passed in the Senate last month.

“Humane Society International commends Governor Calvo’s leadership in championing shark protection in the region. We are particularly heartened by the efforts of Shark Tsunami, a group of passionate and eco-conscious high school advocates that rallied support on the island. With the enactment of this ban on shark fins, Guam joins Hawaii and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands to combat the destructive shark fin trade,” said Iris Ho, wildlife campaign manager for HSI.

HSI extends thanks to Senate Vice Speaker Benjamin J. F. Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Rory J. Respicio, and Senate Speaker Judith Won Pat for their support. HSI also reiterates its appreciation for Hawaii Senator Clayton Hee, D-Kahuku, whose landmark legislation banning shark fins has become a model for the legislation in the CNMI, Guam and several U.S. states.

Facts

  • Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year to meet the demand for shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy. Shark populations cannot sustain the current slaughter rates: increasing numbers of shark species are being placed on the Threatened list.
  • Sharks are apex predators at the top of marine ecosystems. The fate of all other marine species and entire oceanic ecosystems depends on the survival of sharks.
  • Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice that involves slicing off a shark’s fins and throwing the body, often while the shark is still alive, back into the water.
  • In July 2010, Hawaii enacted legislation banning the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins. It was the first of its kind in the world and has prompted other U.S. states and global nations to introduce similar legislation.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

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