The state Assembly voted against fishermen who rip off shark fins and toss the still-barely-living sea creatures back into the ocean. "AB376 bans the sale, trade or possession of shark fins, a delicacy that costs hundreds of dollars per pound and is used to create a soup popular among Asians," reports KTVU. "The Assembly approved the bill 60-8." Although the extinction of these sharks pose a threat to underwater ecosystems, some have decried the shark fin ban as an assault on Asian cultural cuisine. Namely, both Mayor Ed Lee and mayoral candidate Sen. Leland Yee champion the destruction of our endangered shark population for soup.
Houston Rockets center Yao Min, however, vehemently opposes the sale of shark fins, going so far as to film a PSA right here in San Francisco.
The bill now must go through the state Senate.
Krista Mahr's "Shark-Fin Soup and the Conservation Challenge" for Time provides an excellent account of the irreversible repercussions of the shark-fin industry.