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California’s Shark Fin Ban Goes Into Effect Monday

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Trays filled with shark fins are displayed at a store in Chinatown on August 24, 2011 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Trays filled with shark fins are displayed at a store in Chinatown on August 24, 2011 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— California’s ban on the importation of shark fins goes into full effect on Monday.

The ban was passed in 2011 and the sale and use of fins that already were in the state as of January, 2012 will become illegal Monday.

A lawsuit to overturn the ban has a hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on August 14th, but until then community leaders in San Francisco’s Chinatown were urging compliance with the law.

“Anyone who has fins on or after July 1st is subject to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail,” said attorney Joe Breall, who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to overturn the ban.

Carl Chan, who lives in Chinatown said he doesn’t even eat shark fin soup, but still thinks the ban targets the Chinese community.

“We are all law-abiding citizens and we believe in the law. But when there’s a law, it has to be fair and just,” said Chan.

Environmental groups support the ban, saying that finning decimates the shark population and threatens the ecosystem.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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