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Friday, August 5, 2011

Oregon Signs Shark-Fin Ban Into Law, Beating California to the Punch

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge A boat full of fins, minus the sharks they came from.
  • A boat full of fins, minus the sharks they came from.

Yesterday, Oregon became the third state in the nation to pass a law banning the sale of shark fin, reports the Oregonian. As SFoodie has discussed in the past, there's a federal ban on fishing sharks for their fins alone, but it doesn't address international imports. Pacific Rim states have been quick to see this as a loophole in the law and address it by blocking demand as well as supply.

Last month, Hawaii's ban went into full effect, and a similar law in Washington state will follow in October.

Meanwhile, California's AB-376, which passed the Assembly, goes up before the Senate Appropriations Committee August 15. Of course, neither Oregon nor Washington has major Chinese-American communities like California does, and opposition to the law here has been the loudest (notably, from S.F. mayoral candidate and state Senator Leland Yee).

The Easy Reader reports that Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who is on the Appropriations Committee, is proposing an amendment to continue allowing the sale of fins from sharks caught for their meat. Will that diffuse some of the opposition, or create a new set of problems for enforcing the potential law? Hard to tell.

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