SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Less than one week after Chinese New Year, California legislators have introduced a bill to ban the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins used in a traditional soup.

If successful, the proposed ban announced Monday, would follow a similar measure enacted in Hawaii last year. Oregon and Washington are also considering similar legislation.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Shark fins are used to create a luxury Chinese soup that can sell for as much as $40 a bowl.

Supporters of the ban say shark finning is a cruel practice in which fishermen slice the shark’s fin off while the animal is still alive and then throw the shark back in the sea to die.

Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, introduced the legislation with colleague Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (10)
  1. Lenny Deets says:

    I’m sorry Chinese tradition includes a practice that causes such suffering for such a valuable creature. Just because you may have a right to do it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. I hope protection is granted to these beautiful animals. It’s sad to hang on to a tradition that is so obviously cruel.

  2. karen wasserman says:

    i believe this chinese tradition is horribly cruel. how anyone can be so inhumane is hard for me to understand. it is so wrong and i hope protection is granted to the sharks.

  3. Tony Tran says:

    First of all, for KCBS, it’s the Lunar New Year, not Chinese New Year. There are many ethnicities that celebrate this holiday, so please as a news and media source, get it right.

    I am all for this legislation. The finning of sharks is absolutely cruel and unnecessary. Sharks are critical to the marine ecosystem and only legislation will help curb this inhumane practice. It is very difficult to change centuries of culture, so I see no other way. I commend the State of California for putting this bill on the table.

  4. Bill Powers says:

    The Shark Protectorate of San Diego hails this introduced legislation as critically important, timely, and humane. The argument that eating shark fin soup is a part of Chinese “culture” is particularly untrue. In ages past, ONLY ROYALTY were allowed/could afford to eat the soup (which was seen as a rare delicacy). Thus, unless present day Americans-of-Chinese-decent can trace their roots to royal or dynastic origins, the premise that SFS-eating is “traditional” is completely bogus.

  5. News yeah, right says:

    How about trying cow hoof soup? Tony the so-called news rarely gets anything right and you expect them to know its the Lunar New Year? Please…

  6. Calvin Tam says:

    I totally agree that shark’s fins should be banned. I am Chinese-American and have not eaten shark’s fin soup in 20 years. Traditions need to change just like everything else. Leland Yee- GET OVER IT!!. Just because something is a “tradition” doesn’t mean it’s good.

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