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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.

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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