Following a lengthy and passionate debate on the California Senate floor, a bill that would ban the sale, possession and distribution of shark fins has been approved.

The measure now is off to Governor Jerry Brown, one of several bills that was passed on Tuesday as the legislative year is set to come to an end on Friday.  It passed the Assembly earlier this year.

Shark fin soup is regarded as a Chinese delicacy and many critics blame the use of shark fins for the decreasing population of sharks worldwide.

Some opposed to the bill, including San Francisco state Senator Leland Yee, argued that it is discriminatory against Chinese Americans.

But the bill’s author, Cupertino Assemblyman Paul Fong, said in a statement after the Senate vote that “the cultural issue is minor compared to the major environmental devastation of eliminating sharks.”

If approved by Governor Brown, the ban will go into effect on January 1.



Photo Credit: Cedric Seow, via Wikimedia Commons