Ocean conservation should not be a matter of partisan division. Unfortunately, to a greater rather than lesser degree, it is. The Democrats line up on the side of government-sponsored global protectionism, the Republicans favoring Laissez-Faire capitalism and non-interference from government regulation of private business. Despite the philosophical chasm, there has been a meeting of divergent minds, specifically in American politics, on issues vital to oceanic welfare.
Friday night in Laguna Beach, citizens whose political fortunes land on both sides of the aisle came together to raise $1 million for an organization called Oceana. It was the third annual SeaChange, held at the estate of Karen and Bruce Cahill that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
"We are proud to share that our efforts have helped put a stop to the inhumane slaughter of sharks," Oceana Board of Directors Chairman Keith Addis said, explaining to the audience that uncontrolled over fishing of sharks, specifically for the harvest of fins to satisfy a worldwide demand for shark fin soup, had created a significant natural imbalance in the ocean's food chain. "Fisherman catch the sharks, cut off their fins, then throw them back into the ocean where they sink to the bottom and drown."