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Calif. Shark Fin Ban Argued In Federal Court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Chinese American business organizations have asked a federal court to block enforcement of California's ban on shark fin soup, arguing it amounts to ethnic discrimination.

Hundreds of shark fins on the deck of a boat.
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Above: Hundreds of shark fins on the deck of a boat.

The San Francisco Chronicle says opponents, led by Bay Area Chinese restaurants and their suppliers, argued the case Wednesday before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

A state law that took effect last month bans selling or serving the Chinese delicacy. Conservationists say an estimated 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins, which often are cut from live animals.

Opponents argued that only the Chinese-American community is affected and the ban conflicts with federal management of ocean resources.

The Obama administration opposes the law, arguing last month that it could shut down legal commercial shark fishing.

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Avatar for user 'progressivebuthey'

progressivebuthey | August 15, 2013 at 10:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

This is America NOT China where they eat anything that once breathed or walked or flew on the planet. Ever been to a Chinese grocery store where they have live fish ---- cruel conditions. Again, this a country where we at least try to consider resources, not China.


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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | August 15, 2013 at 11:34 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

A ban seems awfully heavy-handed. Why not a quota?

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 15, 2013 at 3:17 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

A ban. Nobody, but nobody, needs to eat shark fin soup. The shark falls to the bottom, unable to breathe, and suffocates to death.

The Chinese have other gustatory delicacies to enjoy. And that goes double for Irish-Americans!

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | August 16, 2013 at 8:07 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

now do a report on Dog smuggling is booming in Thailand around the Mekong border ... say the trade has been growing thanks to a strong market in Vietnam

asians have different values and tastes

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Avatar for user 'ames'

ames | August 16, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

There is an assumption that all shark fin products arise from slicing them off of a living animal that is discarded, which is inaccurate. While this does happen, shark meat is also commonly eaten (like any other fish), including in the USA. Mako shark and thresher shark for example are delicious and commonly available. Why shouldn't fins be kept and utilized from whole sharks that are harvested? While I support the humane treatment of animals, to suggest that the fish and other seafood in an Asian market are treated more inhumanely than USA derived meat products is absurd! Those fish lived free, wild lives until they were caught. On the flip side, cattle, poultry and pigs are kept in deplorable, immoral captive conditions from birth. When dogs are kept like our live stock are, it gets labeled as a "puppy mill", the SPCA speaks up (rightfully so), and it gets a segment on the news. Few Americans give any thought to where their food comes from.

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