On September 20, 1977 the character Fonzie played by Henry Winkler made television history. He was one of the stars of Happy Days, and in the episode that aired that night he literally jumped over a confined shark while water-skiing -- all while wearing swimming trunks and his trademark leather jacket. From then on "to jump the shark" has come to be known as a defining moment when you know that something iconic -- from a television show to traditional ways of doing business -- has reached its peak, and it is probably better to stop it all together since letting it linger on -- although difficult -- may do more harm than good.
The shark fin trade has "jumped the shark," and it is time for Governor Brown to sign legislation that would bring it to an end in California.
Although an ancient practice, in the last few decades the demand for shark fins has increased dramatically. Today WildAid estimates that around 73 million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins. At that rate, our oceans' shark populations simply can't keep up.
By far, the largest demand for shark fins is to make shark fin soup, with some varieties costing upwards of $100 a bowl. (Read more...)