For Immediate Release
Josh Mogerman, 312-651-7909
Illinois Ban Takes a Bite Out of International Shark Fin Trade
Land of Lincoln Rule Can Impact the Health of the Sea
CHICAGO - Governor Quinn has signed a bill that makes Illinois the first inland state to prohibit trade in shark fins. Though the nearest ocean is nearly a thousand miles away, Illinois had been one of the largest markets for shark fins in the US and joins California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in an effort to lower demand for shark fins, the main ingredient in soup considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. That demand kills off tens of millions of sharks annually, many of which are simply tossed back into the ocean where they drown because sharks are unable to swim without fins.
Nick Magrisso was NRDC’s lead advocate on the issue in Springfield, helping to guide a coalition of groups advancing HB 4119 that included the Center for Oceanic Awareness Research and Education (COARE) and the Humane Society. Following is reaction from Magrisso:
"Sure, Illinois is a landlocked state. But that doesn't mean we can't do our part to help throttle down the demand that is quickly killing our oceans by eliminating a species necessary to keep balance. The rule of the land can have a big impact on the health of the seas.
"Just as people all over the country, far from the Great Lakes are concerned about the threat of Asian carp and other invasive species to our fresh water seas, we need to be concerned about the inhumane and biologically dangerous practice of shark finning as a threat to the health of our oceans."
- Magrisso has blogged extensively on the shark fin ban from Springfield: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/nmagrisso/
- Text of the bill, which was ushered through by Sen. Antonio Munoz and Rep. Sara Feigenholtz can be found at: http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=4119&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=63402&SessionID=84
FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.