California Considers Shark Fin Soup Ban

California Considers Shark Fin Soup Ban

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would make the sale of shark fins in the state illegal. Assemblymembers Paul Fong and Jared Huffman co-wrote AB 376, which who essentially put a ban on sale, possession and trade in shark fins in California. Shark fins are used in an expensive, traditional Chinese soup and usually served at special occasions in the Chinese-American community. It has been an esteemed delicacy for thousands of year. The proposed ban on shark fins chips away at this Chinese tradition.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is throwing his weight behind the ban. He has joined with the organization Wild Aid, promising he will never eat it again and he is urging others to do the same. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, a lead sponsor of AB 376, released a poll last week stating a survey of 600 registered voters found that 76 percent of all voters and 70 percent of Chinese-Americans support AB 376. (The margin of error for the sample of 600 California voters is +/- 4.0 percent; the margin of error for the sample of 218 Chinese-American voters is +/- 6.8 percent.) Note: A good percentage of Chinese immigrants are not registered voters.

However, not everyone in the community agrees with the ban. Restaurant owners like Andrew Poon, Chinese Historical Society expert Charlie Chin, and San Francisco mayor Ed Lee oppose the ban. “That sort of thing is one of the dozens of little things people use to erode someone’s cultural identity,” Charlie Chin said.

Oregon and Hawaii have already passed similar bans. Will California be next?

California Considers Shark Fin Soup Ban

San Francisco talks about Shark Fin Soup Ban

Yao Ming PSA for the ban of shark fin soup

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