A San Francisco fish business was cited after wildlife officers discovered it had thousands of pounds of shark fins stocked up on site.
On Jan. 29, the officers inspected Kwong Yip, Inc., a food warehouse located at 1220 Howard Street in San Francisco, and found "what appeared to be shark fins for sale" on the premises -- a clear violation of state law, according to Lt. Patrick Foy.
"It was literally more than a ton of shark fins -- an extraordinary amount, probably thousands of sharks," he tells us.
Foy says they were led to the fish retailer after a restaurant in Emeryville was busted selling shark fin soup. The restaurant had apparently been getting its shark fins from Kwong Yip, Inc.
The owner, Michael Kwong, 42, of San Francisco was cited for the violation. He has not returned a call from SF Weekly.
The fish police left with what they believe to be 2,138 pounds of shark fin. Although, it will take "ongoing analysis" of the fish to determine with 100 percent certainty that they are all indeed shark fins. "Most of them are,"' Foy says.
This is not the first citation issued for the possession and sale of shark fins since the law went into effect last year. A handful of other businesses across the state have been cited, three of which are in the Bay Area, Foy says.
In 2011, state legislators passed a law banning the sale and possession of shark fins, however, there was a grace period allowing restaurants and other businesses to sell off the remainder of its stock until July 1, 2013.
The Chinese community has unsuccessfully filed lawsuits attempting to reverse the ban on shark fins, which are the main ingredient for the gelatinous soup.