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.

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"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. India medicine man

    what tis next? thoza crazie kaliforyans will bond bayleaf tea?

    September 7, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • BOOBIE

      Yessa we ban da bay reaf an da forchoona cookie nex

      September 7, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • BOOBIE

      Sheety wok soon no bizaness! Oh no!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      No us crazy California People say if they want to wok, let them eat there own shoes, leave the sharks alone!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. drakorex

    Hi scottish moma man im with you sure hope they can keep them sharks from behng killed

    September 7, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. buzzkill

    Yo momma man have you seen gung wamted to apolgise for erlyer today

    September 7, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. amarilloeditorial

    I think if people like this were in Texas they would be given freedom to do what they want.

    Sharks are GODS CREATURES and we're allowed to eat them. Freedom of religion anyone?

    September 7, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Wyatt

      This has nothing to do with religion so don't start there. Sharks are becoming more and more endangered because of this practice which is cruel and very wasteful. There are plenty of other healthier things to eat too, as most sharks are high in mercury anyways.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • arthurrrr

      ACTUALLY- God specifically said way back in Moses's time not to eat sharks!!!!!!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Abolish All Religion

      You take your god and shove it up your ass, where it belongs, you vile, sorry excuse for a mammal.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      First of all, get over the god debate and just discuss something like a normal human. Second of all, I think the key here is that they're banning SHARK FINS, not eating sharks. The story clearly states that the issue is the practice of catching a shark, cutting off its fin, and then throwing it back in the water to rot. They want to stop THAT practice, not eating sharks entirely.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • erayrn

      read the bible, don't remember a ban on sharks.... It is wasteful and a shame to kill a creature for just a fin and throw the rest back. if there is use made of the entire shark I would have less of a problem with it

      September 7, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • cja

      Freedom of religion anyone? Yes. My religion requires that I feed Christians to lions in a large sports area. We try not to let them harm the lions. Think about what you ask for before asking. Seriously, your freedom ends when it causes harm to others. it is not unlimited.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chynaman

    I guess the demand for dog meat is about to go up.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jame

      yeah us americans don't eat smart animals. wait pigs are as smart as dogs. okay we americans don't eat exceedingly cute and friendly animals.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. 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 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • cja

      Your idea would only solve one of the two problems this ban addresses, torturing sharks. The other problem is that we are reducing their numbers to the point where they might disappear. In my opinion this is the real problem as we don't even know for sure that sharks feel pain.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Phantom

    I like sea turtle meat but it is banned. That is not not bring that racist card...please....
    Next step : ban shark fin in all USA !!!

    Good for California and the oceans ecosystems.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. YoMama

    Good for California

    September 7, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. YEAH!

    Leave it to the Chinese to perform such a cruel, vile act. Yeah, let's cut the fin off then throw the live shark back in the water. I think maybe we should start cutting some Chinese di*k and making penis soup and feed it to them...then toss the penis-less dudes in lime juice. Well, on second though, Chinese di*k is probably too small to make soup...nevermind...cut their hands instad – HAND SOUP!

    September 7, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • JayGee

      Thanks for the midnight laugh =]

      September 7, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Randy

    How is it that these folks that consume this soup cannot fathom the impact of the fishing practices? Unfair? No! Uneducated culture on environmental responsibility? YES!

    September 7, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ellie

    Seriously????? California has a serious homeless problem and this is what their Senate focuses on? No wonder they call it La-La land. What a state full of idiots!

    September 7, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • cja

      Doing "A" does not imply that one is not doing "B". Homelessness is a hard problem to solve. We may never solve it. There have been homeless for as long as there have been homes. The shark fin problem was easy to solve. A staff employee can write the text of the shark fin bill and not take time way from other people

      September 7, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mali

    Great, now there will be more sharks to eat us. I don't care if they ban shark fins; I can't afford the damn soup anyway.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. JoAnn Bartholomew

    What,the Chinese-Americans are doinng is wrong.As,long as they live in the United States of America,I do believe they should eat the foods we eat.No,matter if they or someone else,were to to this stunt to other animals,is called ANIMAL ABUSE. JoAnn Bartholomew

    September 7, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I am an American. Guess what. I eat shark.... granted i used to catch them my self and i kept the whole shark not just the fin. I do not agree with finning but i do not think we should ban shark fishing.
      shark properly cooked is very good.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. James

    Sen. Leland Yee just lost my vote. I cannot believe that this man can't see the insanity of finning sharks that are already on the brink of extinction. I had no idea that sustainability and proper stewardship of the oceans was anti- chinese. What an idiot!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. bobzilla

    "Shark fins are often acquired through the controversial practice of finning..."

    please enlighten me....what OTHER way is there of getting shark fins..maybe growing them in a jar??

    September 7, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • cja

      Finning means you toss the rest of the shark back. The other way is to catch the shark and process the entire animal. Both methods result in a dead shark but finning is more wasteful

      September 7, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Cachuw

      The OTHER way! Chop you up for chum? Just a thought.

      September 7, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
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