Sharks don't deserve the all the bad press they get, because humans do much more harm to them than they ever do to us. But a new law in California is set to improve the lives of these marine creatures, and animal lover Ian Somerhalder is thrilled to see it take effect.
“The Vampire Diaries” star Tweeted:
— ian somerhalder (@iansomerhalder) July 14, 2013
Millions of sharks are killed annually for their fins. Often, it's only for that — just for their fins. Sharks are captured, their fins are cut off, and then they are thrown back into the water still alive. Of course, they can't swim without their fins, and they soon die.
California has one of the biggest markets for shark fins in the world, and starting today it’s against the law to “possess, sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute” shark fins in the state. New York, Oregon, Hawaii and other states have similar laws. Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society of the United States explained, "It's very similar to ivory elephant tusks. To stop poaching and eliminate the value of ivory, you have to devalue it, and this law puts a value of zero on shark fins."
This is great news for animal rights activists like Ian, because sharks aren't just as cool as can be. They're also an important part of our ecosystem! Still, the fight for animal welfare is far from over. You can dive in with Oceana to continue helping ocean life, or help the environment and animal life in general by getting involved with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.