Shark fin soup one step closer to being banned in California
Shark fins may be pulled from the shelves of San Francisco's Chinatown if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill banning their sale.
September 6th, 2011
10:56 PM ET

Shark fin soup one step closer to being banned in California

A Chinese delicacy moved closer to extinction Tuesday in California as the state Senate passed a bill banning the sale of shark fins.

The Senate voted 25 to 9 to ban the possession, sale or trade of the key ingredient in shark fin soup. The bill will go to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for approval.

Shark fins are often acquired through the controversial practice of finning, in which a shark's fins are cut off and the rest of its body is tossed into the ocean. California, home to 1.1 million Chinese-Americans, is one of the largest importers of shark fins outside Asia.

Supporters of the bill hailed the vote as an important step toward protecting an increasingly rare species.

"This hugely important victory in the California Legislature comes not a moment too soon," said Leila Monroe, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"With sharks being killed by the tens of millions every year just for their fins, scientists, many Asian Pacific-American leaders and jurisdictions around the country and world agree: The very best way to protect sharks from disappearing from our oceans forever is to ban the sale and trade of shark fins."

Critics said the bill unfairly targeted the Chinese-American community because it only restricts the sale of shark fins, which are used almost exclusively in Chinese cuisine. The bill does not apply to other shark products like oil or meat.

"I think what is most insidious about this particular bill is that it sends a very bad message, not only to us in California but to the rest of the world, that discrimination against Chinese-Americans is OK," Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lawmakers on Tuesday also approved a second bill that added several key provisions, including an exemption for taxidermists to possess shark fins and giving restaurants more time to use up what they have of the ingredient, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It is unclear what position Brown might take. He has not publicly stated whether he supports the bill.

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • California • Sharks
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Caroline, the Chinese may care...

    September 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Wakeup321

    Like this remotely has anything to do with discrimination against Chinese-Americans. We don't like to kill whales or turtles either.

    September 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • leeintulsa

      Ya might check the bayou before u proclaim turtles unamerican to kill..

      September 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • CT

      We don't kill turtles? Could've fooled me. I've been to numerous restaurants in the South that serve various forms of turtle. It's actually quite good. The turtles that are killed for their meat are not endangered, so it's really no different than eating any other form of wild game (deer, quail, fish from a lake or river, etc.).

      September 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Caroline

    Banady,
    I understand that they care about their culture, but when it affects us all.... it's time for them to change
    and eat Campbell Soup for cryin out loud..

    September 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Campbell soup and sherry? nottah a good combination...

      September 7, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    Our oceans are over-fished to the point of extinction. We should stop fishing for anything that is not farm raised. There are way too many of us to be killing fish for food....unless you are a man with a fishing pole. Put the seven mile drag nets out of business for good.

    September 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Starman

      Ban longline fishing as well.

      September 7, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Starman

    Ridiculous that this practice is allowed anywhere.

    September 7, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jay Cool (jaycool.net)

    cry me a river. Does anyone understand the food chain? We are intelligent creatures capable of capturing and eating sharks. Great, have some soup! Need to stop the BS about "endangered species". Everything goes extinct sometime. And if a species of shark goes away because we ate them all, i guess we should just behold the fond memories of the yummy dinner we can never have again.

    September 7, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Where's your sense of Eco-responsibility?Your carbon footprint must be off the charts? And you green card must be made of plastic?
      Has it been eons since your lips kissed a block of tofu? When the last time you juicer has been graced with the food of goats: green barley, wheat barley, greenblade yard grass? And don't forget about the upper colonic cleansings...jaycool you need a lifestyle alignment with hot rocks and crystal purification to draw all that dark energy from your aurora....LOL!

      September 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Jay, you are not cool, as your name implies. I'm only hoping you are kidding, otherwise it is obvious that you are a very shallow, uninformed individual. Very sad.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. steve mackenbach

    Terrible!! Leave the sharks alone!!

    September 7, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    WAIT WAITWAIT FOR IT DRUM ROLL THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1 IDIDNT POST EARLIER NOR DID BUZZ! BUT WOW THANKS FOR THINKIN ABOUT US HI ALMOST EVERY BODY PEOPLE NEED TO EAT IN MODERATION . ITS GOOD TO SEE ALL S GOOD INTENSIONS TRUCKDRIVING TAUGHT ME ALOT ABOUT TALKING HEADS MIND LESS BUT NOT MULIT NAMELESS LONERS IF U KNOW WHAT I MEAN? ENOUGH SAID MOST OF U HAVE AGOOD DAY IM BAAACCCKK OUT!.

    September 7, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    peeman done any phone reseach for me thanks for offering. enjoy today bbbaaaccckk out..

    September 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. nambi

    Great news let's hope this ban spreads globally!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    hello

    September 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. panam47

    Yeah, let's turn this into a racial issue. Let's make it OK to kill all the black bears for their gall bladders, all the rhinos for their horn, all the snakes for their venom, all the tigers for their claws so people can use those "aphrodisiac" benefits to make more of us, which the earth can't sustain. Idiots!!

    September 8, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ytuque

    Rather than debate this issue on its merits, Senator Yee has decided to play the race card . Let's hope the voters remember this next election. BTW, Yao Ming is supporting a ban on shark fin soup, so according to Yee, Yao Ming is anti-Chinese.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. audrey

    This has nothing to do with the Chinese culture or even just protecting a marvelous species. Why are people so narrow minded to think that! It has to do with the fact that sharks are an important part of our (human being's) well being. Without sharks, the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide will diminish (as it already has in the Atlantic), reducing the human race. This isn't just for the the sharks. It's for us as well.

    P.S. Educate yourself. Oriental is not an ethnicity. It just show's you're ignorant.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.