Cartoonist Jim Toomey Helps Launch Sherman's Lagoon: Finning Isn't Funny Exhibit at Aquarium of the Bay

Jun 21, 2010, 11:20 ET from Aquarium of the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- World renowned cartoonist Jim Toomey joins his cast of amusing aquatic characters to share the story of shark finning in Aquarium of the Bay's new exhibit, Sherman's Lagoon: Finning Isn't Funny, on Saturday, June 26. To celebrate this new and thought-provoking exhibit, Toomey will be onsite to meet fans, conduct Cartooning 101 classes and sign books on opening day. The Sherman's Lagoon: Finning Isn't Funny exhibit will be on display throughout the summer.

"There's nothing funny or entertaining about the practice of shark finning, but because my lead character is a shark, I felt like I had to address this important issue and make the public more aware of it," says Sherman's Lagoon creator Jim Toomey.

Toomey, an advocate for sharks, uses his nationally syndicated Sherman's Lagoon comic strip to entertain as well as educate by addressing issues including shark finning, over-fishing and the importance of establishing marine protected areas. Toomey was given the first SharkSaver award last fall, during Aquarium of the Bay's Sharktober celebration.

"Sherman's Lagoon: Finning Isn't Funny" introduces visitors to the global threats of shark finning, through the eyes of Sherman the shark and his underwater friends. Displays featuring Toomey's shark finning-focused comics, daily naturalist-led presentations, an action station where visitors of all ages can help prevent shark finning and a Sherman photo opportunity are all part of this intriguing exhibit. Visitors can also create and sign individual letters that the Aquarium will mail to the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service, urging international bans on the horrific act of shark finning.

Worldwide, shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins every year. After having their fins cut off, the sharks are often tossed back into the sea still alive, where they die a slow death. Finning is a widespread and largely unmanaged and unmonitored act that has increased over the past decade. Shark fins are primarily used in shark fin soup, and one pound of dried shark fin can retail for more than $300, making finning a multi-billion dollar industry.

Tickets for the Cartooning 101 class are just $5 for members and $10 for non-members, and appropriate for aspiring artists of all ages. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit www.aquariumofthebay.org.

About Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit marine nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute. The Aquarium is dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information on Aquarium of the Bay is available at www.aquariumofthebay.org, and on The Bay Institute at www.bay.org.

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Christina Slager

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SOURCE Aquarium of the Bay



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