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. Cachuw

    How about killing a monkey then crushing it's skull and eating their fresh brain, then throwing out the rest?

    September 7, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    If you think this is bad, you should see what chinese do for bear bile and of course dog meet. Heartbreaking how these animals suffer. Truely barbaric.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      It's also truly barbaric where most of America's meat comes from.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      I agree with Jordan. It's one thing to make use of an entire animal for food consumption. For many cultures it's the respectful thing to do if you're going to kill an animal. It's another thing to just slice one part off and leaving the animal for dead. It's barbaric.

      September 7, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. :-)

    Might as well let them have it as long as they make use of the rest of the dark and put limits on the daily catch. If they were really worried about the population they would stop polluting everything !

    September 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. :-)

    Shark not dark

    September 7, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. BiteMyShinyMetalAss

    Don't you have anything better going on than to recycle your own stories, CNN?

    September 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. PeeMan

    @ Bitemy
    LMAO

    September 7, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Auds

    For any of the Chinese Americans who don't like that they are banning killing sharks just for their fins, they can feel free to move back to China! Senator Yee needs to get over himself.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. JoeProfet

    In the shark world they are dong the same thing, banning human consumption to just a few a year...hopefully!

    September 7, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    "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"

    To my surprise I actually agree with Senator Yee. I think shark fins sales should be banned but I complete agree that the ban needs to also include other products that come from sharks. Sharks need to be protected and it's disgusting that people would cut off their fins and throw them back into the water. What the hell???

    September 7, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Charles

    Did you hear California is about to pass a law which makes is illegal to start a business.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Thenextstep

    "It seems to me that it's such a part of the Chinese culture, I'd like to see it preserved," one man said.
    Fine, go to China and get some........

    September 7, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @dv:
    Yep, some people *do* eat pickled pig's feet and bull testicles.
    The difference is, the pig and the bull do not have just those items cut off and then thrown in a salt water bath to die.

    this isn't a race issue; it's an ethival issue.

    September 7, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Duh. *ethical*.

    September 7, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. gung hoe

    Thought i heard my ears ringing last night Geez sorry to have missed the paaarty Ban this practice now and forever Well have to go to work unlike the kids online

    September 7, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. gunther

    Dont get why this is legal in the first place. Wheres PETA when ya need em...

    September 7, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
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