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California governor signs ban on shark fin trade

  • Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, thanks Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, for help after his measure banning the sale, trade or possession of shark fins was approved by the Senate in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. By bill was approved on a 25-9 vote and sent it to the governor.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — California's governor announced Friday that he signed a bill banning the sale, trade and possession of shark fins to protect the world's dwindling shark population.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB376 over objections that the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.

California joined Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam in the ban that environmental and animal rights activists hailed for closing off Pacific ports in the U.S. to the shark fin trade.

"The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans," Brown wrote in a statement.

The bill had split the Asian delegation in the California Legislature.

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