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.

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Filed under: Animals • California • Sharks
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    Those poor sharks. How cruel.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scottish Mama

      Not me.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Johan S

      Instead of banning shark fin soup they could ban the importation of shark fin that had been obtained in a manner that results in prolonged torture for the shark. Problem solved without forcing someone to on a diet. If animals are tortured for their meat that should be stopped .. whether it's chicken or shark!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    Once again we have the white man trying to tell everyone in the world what they should eat. Pathetic

    September 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cachuw

      You so narrow minded no one can see you except you!

      September 7, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Ester

      Sam, many Asians are against Shark Finning. The younger generation is against this ridiculous practice and many of those are Asian.

      September 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. drap

    Looks like Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider..cant order the special of the day anymore... .

    September 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Banasy You Ssssuuuucccckkkk!

    WOW Gerry Brown pulled his head out of his Ass to do something right! to bad its too little too late. Phuck A. Bourdain and the other food critic that eat shark fin soup. and worms and pigs ass. You are what you eat!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mmmmm

    Oh my...what cusine shall the bride and groom dined for their wedding day?

    September 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Finless in Cali

    *FINPALM*!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. drap

    Mrs Paul would disapprove of all this back and forth bickering... .

    September 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. genomega1

    California always good for a laugh. Saying sharks are endangered is like saying flies are endangered.
    The only thing endangered in California is the drug altered brains.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Correction: endangered sober mind and sound judgement

      September 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phantom

      With all due respect, you are incredibly ignorant.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • India medicine man

      Listen smoke mist, you don't kno' me. It's a legitmate statement. California laws tend toward hypocrisy: turtle egg protection vs. human baby killin' tolerance...etc,etc,etc

      September 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Haight and Ashbury

    @ genomega1,you are an idiot! everyone knows that drug altered minds in California will never be endangered..Hows that tea party going... .?

    September 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RUFFNUTT (ELF SLAYER , LEADER OF GKOP alliance , FRIEND OF FROZEN VENGENCE , PURPLE KUSH SMOKER , 82 CAMARO OWNER , 69 FIREBIRD OWNER , AVID TURKEY HUNTER , NOS USER , MIKE PATTON FAN , AND TRAINER OF VERY SMALL DOGS THAT HAVE SIZE ISSUES)

    TIME to buy some shark fins and then put them in the freezer...

    September 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RUFFNUTT (ELF SLAYER , LEADER OF GKOP alliance , FRIEND OF FROZEN VENGENCE , PURPLE KUSH SMOKER , 82 CAMARO OWNER , 69 FIREBIRD OWNER , AVID TURKEY HUNTER , NOS USER , MIKE PATTON FAN , AND TRAINER OF VERY SMALL DOGS THAT HAVE SIZE ISSUES)

    .
    .
    maybe we can make a new soup.. dolphin fin soup?

    September 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Yes, Chinese viagra vegtable soup...

      September 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      ...or asian floral bathtub ceremony using rainwater water and Hydrangea petals infused with the bathsalts of Cialis...

      September 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Never had the soup.
    Never intend to, either.

    @Banasy You Ssssuuuucccckkkk!:

    ...like this is a bad thing?

    @Ruffie:

    "AND TRAINER OF VERY SMALL DOGS THAT HAVE SIZE ISSUES"?

    Banasy You Ssssuuuucccckkkk!
    needs you for immediate emergency training.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • RUFFNUTT (ELF SLAYER , LEADER OF GKOP alliance , FRIEND OF FROZEN VENGENCE , PURPLE KUSH SMOKER , 82 CAMARO OWNER , 69 FIREBIRD OWNER , AVID TURKEY HUNTER , NOS USER , MIKE PATTON FAN , AND TRAINER OF VERY SMALL DOGS THAT HAVE SIZE ISSUES)

      .
      .
      everyone knows that small dogs have "little dog syndrome"... i work with them and keep their little dog egos in check..

      September 7, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. RL

    Wouldn't skate wings also be banned from California restaurants under this bill? The text says, "'shark fin' means the raw,
    dried, or otherwise processed detached fin, or the raw, dried, or otherwise processed detached tail, of an elasmobranch."

    September 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Flipper from KCMO

    Oh krap! looking for ride to Calif..will work for small bait... .!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jam

    Do they honestly think banning Shark Fin soup is going too keep people who like it from killing a shark to get it... They have banned the MJ and other drugs for years and it is one of the main illegal immports into the US.... But they have sent to Congress a bill to be passed to ban Shark Fin soup so poeple will not kill the sharks.??? People will still get it. If it is in their own home. Or paying dearly for it.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
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