Isabel Ortiz-Marquez rattles off facts about shark migratory patterns, mating habits and diet like a biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
But it is the rate at which sharks are being butchered for their fins — three every second, or 100 million a year — that really gets the Jordan Middle School student fired up.
“Some scientists say that they can be gone in 10 years — completely gone,” said Isabel, 11.
Now, the sixth-grader and two dozen classmates are taking their message to the top, throwing their weight behind pending state legislation that would make it illegal to possess, sell, trade or distribute shark fins. On Wednesday, they visited Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) to press him for his support for the bill, AB 376.
The students are planning to visit state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and hope to launch a shark club dedicated to the species’ protection.