August 25, 2011
The loss of a cultural tradition is regrettable, but the loss of a species is tragic and the upset of the oceans' environmental balance could be catastrophic. That's why a California bill banning the possession and sale of shark fins should be pulled out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file Thursday and sent to the Senate floor, where it should be passed. Shark populations are declining, and close to a third of shark species are in danger of extinction. Contributing to this decline is the practice of shark finning, in which large-scale fishing operations cut off the valuable fins, used for the Chinese delicacy shark-fin soup, and throw the rest of the shark back into the ocean to die. At one time, the expensive soup was out of the reach of all but the wealthiest Chinese families, but the emergence of the Chinese middle class increased demand to the point where an estimated 70 million sharks are killed each year solely for their fins.
April 18, 1991 |
In what passes these days for wit, one Washington wag described the regulatory firefight between Hollywood and The Networks over the future of television programming ownership as a "battle between the rich and the wealthy." Well, yes--but it's also a battle between the greedy and the selfish. The only sure loser won't be the broadcasters or the producers; it will be the public. The battle lines were drawn in ways that guaranteed we viewers would be ignored.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2005 |
A federal judge ordered a Hong Kong company to pay $618,956 Monday for its role in a 2002 incident in which a fishing boat was seized with 64,695 pounds of shark fins. Tai Loong Hong Marine Products Ltd. had chartered a Honolulu-based vessel to collect shark fins from other boats off the coast of Mexico, prosecutors said. The case was the first prosecution under a 2000 federal law prohibiting finning, in which fins are ripped off sharks.
December 8, 2000 |
Shark finning, cutting off a shark's fin and throwing the dying fish back into the sea, would be banned from all U.S. waters under legislation that cleared Congress on Thursday. "Today is the end of a long personal struggle to stop this abhorrent practice," said Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-San Diego), who introduced the legislation two years ago. A voice vote Thursday by the Senate sent the bill to President Clinton, who is expected to sign it. The House already passed it.
July 6, 1987
Ira Berkow of the New York Times tells about a pro-am in which Greg Norman and his partners were being held up by a group ahead. "Who's the pro in that group?" Norman asked. "Chi Chi Rodriguez," he was told. "Oh," Norman said. "Now I know why they're so slow. Chi Chi's got all that money in his pocket." When told of Norman's remark, Rodriguez laughed. "He's the White Shark and I'm the Loan Shark," Chi Chi said.
October 5, 1997 |
This was one time 8-year-old Emily Kasmer was glad to get pushed around by a couple of older, much bigger kids. In fact, Emily can't wait to see them again. That's because the two older kids--10-year-old Santini and 12-year-old Elita--are dolphins at the not-for-profit Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key, Fla. The center is home to a colony of bottlenose dolphins from the Gulf of Mexico.
January 13, 2014 |
You've met the front of Tiktaalik roseae , the fish-like creature that fills an important gap between fish and four-legged, land-based animals. Now, the hindquarters of the 375-million-year-old fossil are having their close-up moment, and they're showing a pelvis that marks it farther along the evolutionary track from fin to limb. Discovered in the Canadian Arctic in 2004, and introduced to the scientific world two years later, Tiktaalik roseae demonstrates the predictive power of Darwin's theory of evolution -- a transitional creature found on the timeline precisely where the theory assumed it ought to be. Tiktaalik, an Inuit word for “large, freshwater fish,” had a skeletal structure that likely allowed it to support itself with its front and back fins, and “walk” with them, at least in shallow waters, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1997 |
Debbe Behr was kayaking off Malibu the other day when she noticed that another kayak had an unexpected passenger--a sea lion (see photo). "There used to be a floating barge in the area," Behr said. "But it's gone and I guess there's no place for the sea lions to sun themselves." Behr, who was armed with a camera, learned that the creature had followed kayakers Steffanie and Robert Stoker for several minutes "before it became their boat's figurehead."
November 30, 2011 |
At Peninsula Hotels , sharks stay free. In an effort to protect the species, the company recently announced that it would stop serving shark-fin soup at its hotels in Beijing and Shanghai and at its flagship Hong Kong property as well as its hotels in Beverly Hills, New York and other cities. The parent company of Peninsula, Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., made the announcement Nov. 21 and encouraged other hotels and restaurants to do likewise and "play a role in helping preserve the biodiversity of our oceans.
July 2, 2012 |
California passed its ban on shark fins last year despite the protests that shark-fin soup was a traditional delicacy among people of Chinese descent. On Sunday, Illinois joined a growing number of states and nations by banning shark fin. And now, it seems, the government of China no longer considers tradition to be an acceptable excuse for killing tens of millions of fish each year, many of which are from endangered species. Shark finning is a particularly wasteful and cruel practice: after the fins are cut off the shark, the animal is thrown back into the water to die slowly.