California governor signs ban on shark fin trade
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — 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.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he signed AB376 by Democratic Assemblyman Paul Fong of Cupertino. The Democratic governor says 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."
The bill had split the Asian delegation in the California Legislature. Fong says it's needed to protect endangered shark species, but others call the measure racist because the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.
California joins Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Guam in the ban.