The Titanic star, a longtime animal rights campaigner, has thrown his support behind the proposed Assembly Bill 376, which would make it illegal to possess, sell or trade sought-after fins.
In a letter to members of the California State Senate, DiCaprio writes, “The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has concluded that a third of shark species are now threatened with extinction of some kind. And recent estimates state that up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for use in shark fin soup and other products.
“Traditionally shark fin was affordable only to the elite, and consequently the issue of decimation of species was not a concern. But with the explosion of the world’s population, and an increasing number of wealthy consumers, this can no longer be considered true, as has been evidenced by the decimation of shark populations worldwide.
“Despite fisheries’ attempts at regulation, the inhumane practice of finning continues unabated too, as does the illegal capture of sharks from marine reserves and sovereign waters.”
DiCaprio’s petition was also signed by conservationists at The Humane Society, WildAid and The Natural Resources Defense Council.
Hollywood stars Edward Norton, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson and pop star Ke$ha have also backed the bill to save sharks.