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Jerry Brown Signs Shark Fin Ban

| October 7, 2011
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Photo: Krissy Clark/KQED

Statement from the Governor:

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation to protect the oceans and the environment. AB 376, by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), bans the possession and sale of shark fins in California. The practice of “finning” for culinary purposes has led to substantial declines in shark populations worldwide.

“The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans,” said Governor Brown. “Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing. In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill.”

While many countries have already banned the practice, it continues unabated in unregulated international waters. By banning the possession and sale of shark fins, California joins Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam in an effort to reduce demand and protect shark populations.

In addition to AB 376, Governor Brown also signed a companion bill by Assemblyman Fong, AB 853, which allows existing stocks of on-hand shark fins to be sold until July 1, 2013.

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  • Jollyroger

    Thanx gov brown,you just raised up the price for shark fins,And when a shark bites off the arm or leg of one of your kids,Then maybe you will think twice before signing another bill like this,You are a fool.

    • Test

      What it has to do with bites off the arm or leg of his kids? Does it justify the way the shark being killed to begin with? Do yourself a favor and see Gordon Ramsay encounter with Shark Fin on youtube. If you still feel that it’s OK to eat it, go for it. Hope you know that they might contains mercury also.

  • Jollyroger

    I have been eating sharks for over 40 years.no one is going to make me stop catching and eating them.everything in the world has mercury in it and no one is dying from it.Go back to tending your sheeple.Sharks dont need to be protected.People need to be protected from the gov idiots that are messing up the USA

    • Test

      Wow, I can see why you need to eat shark fin. You already acting like one by eating it too much over 40 years. If they can be more humane in catching them, go for it. I guess, Stupidity goes hand in hand with ignorance apparently.

    • Woefulroger

      Sure mercury hasn’t killed you after 40 years, but it’s pretty clear what it has done to your mental reasoning.

  • Alice

    In reply to “Jollyroger”, you do understand that sharks are at the top of the food chain, right? Which means if they are at risk, so are we, as is the whole bioweb of animals everywhere. This bill does not mean the end of fishing and eating sharks, it just discourages finning sharks – an unsustainable practice which is inhumane, wasteful and impractical. I really don’t understand how you can be for shark finning. I mean, the equivalent would be if people went around cutting off elephant’s trunks, would you be for that too? It’s people like you who make me really sad, we need to start making sustainable and informed choices and it doesn’t sound like you have any interest in that at all.

  • Jollyroger

    The oceans of the earth should not be regulated by anyone or any country

  • Maureen who dives

    Sharks kill fewer than 10 people a year – more people die from lightning. We killed 40,000,000 sharks last year. For the status of showing you’re rich enough? That’s nothing but selfishness.

    • Eric Mills

      Let’s not forget that Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) was co-author of this bill, and was key in getting this bill to the Governor’s desk.

      It’s unfortunate that Governor Brown also signed companion bill AB 853 into law (by the same authors). This bill was a last-minute “gut and amend” deal thrown together by the authors and sponsors of AB 376 as a sop to the scant opposition (Senators Leland Yee and Ted Lieu, San Francisco’s Rose Pak and Pius, a a few disgruntled merchants and restaurant owners). The vast majority of Asian-Americans in California were in support of AB 376. AB 853 unnecessarily allows the shark fin dealers/merchants, etc., to stockpile fins for another 18 months, and you can bet they will do so. I’d recommend a boycott of any restaurant or function which continues to serve this abhorrent dish.

      • Judy

        AB 853 was necessary to gain more votes in the senate. Those votes were hard to come by. It was sound strategy. The purchase of any new fins will be banned as of 1-1-12. They get have 18 months to sell off what is in stock. I agree with the boycott.

  • yahksam

    I’m glad that people and governments are getting on board with this. Saving our oceans is important. Now if we could get this kind of support to save wild salmon. The farms have introduced disease and parasites to the wild salmon as they swim by the pens during migration. If we lose the Salmon we will lose our coastal bears and many other species that depend on this food source.

  • blustarX3

    uhmmm… i’m half asian and i LOVE shark fin soup SOOO much so most of my friends think i’m crazy :C but i’m SUPER sad i can’t eat it anymore. it almost seems racist. it’s like saying it’s illegal to have your own beliefs or your own culture, or saying that it’s not allowed to celebrate something. a little inhumane as well, isn’t it?

  • Erica

    There are some “cultural” practices that are inhumane and must absolutely be stopped. If Asians say they HAVE to have their shark fin soup, then the Taliban can say that they can rape and kill their women due to “cultural” reasons. Is it racist for Human Rights groups to tell the Taliban– you can’t mutilate or restrict women’s freedom? I am Chinese and I don’t want to see anyone’s arms or legs being cut off, so why should we do that to sharks? Sharks are the top of the food chain, and are vital for ocean health.

    Shall we be reminded that slaves were once argued that slaves needed to be kept for “a way of life.”