by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: , , , , .
Photo: Flickr via hamron

The California legislature has introduced a bill that would ban the sale, trade, or possession of shark fins in an effort to stop the horrific “shark finning” practice used to acquire the fins.

For those unfamiliar with shark finning, that’s the practice used by some fishermen to slice the fin off of a still-living shark and either let the shark suffocate on the ship, or throw the animal back into the water where it subsequently dies. The fins are then used to make the traditional Chinese “shark fin soup,” which can sell for upwards of $40 a bowl.

We have seen many activists oppose shark finning in the past, including U.S. Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk and Santa Claus (not the real one of course, he’s busy). Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay even traveled to Costa Rica to investigate the horrors himself, and ended up being doused in gasoline and held at gunpoint by the thugs conducting the finning operation.

The bill was introduced by California Democrats Paul Fong and Jared Huffman yesterday. Bans on shark fin sales and distribution are already in place in Hawaii, and similar bills are going up for vote in Oregon and Washington. We can only hope that this one passes! It would take some kind of serious evil to vote down legislation like this.

The website for the documentary TV show “Sharkwater” claims that an estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually, most of them just for their fins. Their website offers more information about the practice, and on Rob Stewart‘s “Sharkwater,” which was filmed with the help of Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

  • Bill Wong

    Notable Asian Americans like journalist Lisa Ling, actress Kelly Hu, and jazz musician Dan Kuramoto support the ban on shark fin in California.

  • Eric Mills

    Letters of support and thanks to Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Sunnyvale) for this progressive bill. The “race card” gets played a lot in the State Capitol. It’s refreshing to find a politician who puts environmental protection and animal welfare ahead of politics and “culture” and “tradition.”


    Meanwhile, there should be a nationwide boycott of any restaurant which serves shark fin soup, and let ‘em know why. We may be on the brink of moral bankruptcy in this country, but money still talks. We should make this issue a topic of debate in the upcoming San Francisco mayoral election. This could be fun!

  • mister jingles

    this would be another great step for humanity – and the animal kingdom!

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  • eric mills

    Can the horrors of the live animal food markets be far behind? Turtles and frogs (all non-natives) stacked four and five deep, no food or water, many of them butchered while fully conscious. And all are diseased and parasitized, putting at great risk those who eat them.

    Save the sharks, absolutely! But the miserable frogs, turtles and other creatures in the live markets deserve some respite, too.

    Legislation, anyone?

  • Yvonne Chu

    There is no reason to eat ANY dish, of any culture, that leads to the endangerment of a species.

    If Chinese all over the world continue to consume shark fin soup, sharks, which have been around for hundreds of millions of years, will be decimated in our lifetime, with adverse effects on our environment. I’m a Chinese immigrant and I personally feel that because Chinese have caused the depletion of sharks in the ocean, we have an added responsibility to support this ban.

    The shark fin trade has parallels to the ivory trade and our experience with ivory demonstrates that the only way to enforce the ban is to cut the demand.