Shark Fin Soup
U.S. District Judge William Orrick said Tuesday that the law applies equally throughout the state and rejected arguments that the ban unfairly targeted the Chinese community. The Chinatown Neighborhood Association filed a lawsuit in 2011.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal on Tuesday unanimously refused to ban the sale of the soup while San Francisco-area Chinese restaurants and their suppliers pursue their lawsuit to overturn the state law.
A new state law banning the possession or sale of shark fins took effect Monday although local Chinese neighborhood groups continued to fight the legislation in federal court and are holding a noon rally in Oakland’s Chinatown.
Several members of Congress representing coastal states are voicing concern about a proposed federal regulation that could pre-empt state bans on buying or selling shark fins.
California’s ban on the importation of shark fins goes into full effect on Monday. Meanwhile, community leaders in San Francisco’s Chinatown are urging compliance with the law.
A federal court has rejected two Chinese-American groups’ request to halt California’s ban on the selling and possession of shark fins.
Two Asian-American groups have challenged the state’s shark fin ban in a federal lawsuit in San Francisco, claiming it discriminates against Chinese Americans because it blocks cultural uses of shark fin soup.
California’s governor has signed a bill banning the sale, trade or possession of shark fins, joining several other states in trying to protect the dwindling shark population.
The Legislature has sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill seeking to ban the sale, trade or possession of shark fins, despite objections from two senators who called the measure racist because the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.
The state Assembly has come to the defense of endangered sharks targeted by fishermen who amputate their fins and toss the live sharks back into the ocean.