Snippets: A Defenders Roundup
by Heidi Ridgley
Good News for Polar Bears
Finally, there’s some positive news for polar bears. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in October that the Interior Department failed to adequately review the environmental impacts of exempting greenhouse-gas-emitting industries located outside the polar bear’s range from federal regulation. Defenders challenged the 2008 Bush-era rule, and the court is now requiring a full environmental analysis of the polar bear—the first species added to the endangered species list primarily because of threats from climate change—to prevent its extinction. In another ruling, based on the bear’s threatened status, a federal court upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to prohibit the importation of sport-hunted polar bear “trophies” from Canada.
Learn more about polar bears.
Farewell to Finning
The practice of shark-finning is brutal, wasteful, unsustainable—and almost over in California, thanks to a new law that will phase out the selling and trading of fins by 2013. The Golden State is the largest market for fins outside Asia because of a growing obsession with shark fin soup. Up to 73 million sharks die each year after their fins are cut off and the maimed fish are thrown back to the sea to die.
Thanks to all the Defenders members who wrote Congress and California Gov. Jerry Brown to get this bill passed!