Leland Yee Opposes Proposed Ban on Shark Fin Soup

Categories: Animals, Politics
fins3.jpg
Have some soup, Leland.
A South Bay assemblyman has thrown the political equivalent of chum into the Bay Area by proposing a ban on shark fin soup. 

Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) says that the demand for shark fin soup is driving illegal shark-finning ships, where workers throw the finless creatures back in the sea to die. Growing popularity of the bland, gelatinous dish has led to millions more shark deaths, upsetting the undersea ecosystem, environmental groups say.

Fong's proposal has already drawn opposition from state Sen. Leland Yee, whose staffer who said today that laws banning finning ships are already sufficient enough to stop the practice.

"There is a lawful way to allow restaurants to offer shark fin soup," said Adam Keigwin, Yee's chief of staff.



Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) plans to co-sponsor the Fong bill."There's a very lucrative market that continues fueling the practice," Huffman was quoted as saying.

In San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood, shark flesh is so ubiquitous that dim sum shops advertise shark fin dumplings for $1. Your correspondent can report that the fare tastes like a goopy pork dumpling, and is definitely not worth a shark's cruel death.

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15 comments
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Leland Yee is an idiot,,,,,,

tiburonmartillo
tiburonmartillo

This is not a cultural problem! It is a cultural problem if we said it was ok for some to kill sharks and not others. But this is important for everyone reliant on the viability and sustainability of the ocean, which cannot afford to lose the sharks.

100 million are killed every year, 80% of sharks are already gone, leaving only 20% to hang on while finning continues. The only future for sharks is to ban the fin.

Watch this video and see what the Governor of the Galapagos has to say about shark fin soup.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Global Shark Initiative
Global Shark Initiative

Dear Senator Yee,

I read with great pleasure of the introduction on February 14th of AB-376, the California Shark Fin Bill. I also read your comments in the February 15th edition of the SF Weekly Foodie guide blog. Sir, in that you stated that a state wide ban on Shark Fin products would basically be an "attack on Asian culture." Pulling the racist angle in this process is in my opinion a last ditch attempt to suggest that the vile practice of shark finning - where sharks are caught, their fins hacked off still living animals who are then dumped back into the Oceans to drown or fall victim to other predators - still has a place in our society.

As a species we pride ourselves on our intelligence, on our ability to adapt and change as our surrounding environment requires. There are many aspects of many cultures which have changed, evolved over time to accept what is culturally and socially acceptable in the modern day and age. As Bear Bating in the middle ages in Europe, as Slavery the World over and as the binding of women's feet for perceived beauty to mention a few, it is time to realize that shark finning is now out of control. What was once a culturally acceptable, if not distasteful, aspect to many has since transcended into a multi-billion dollar commercial industry controlled in a large part by organized crime elements and corrupt officials.

When canned sharks fin soup can now be bought in convenience stores, fast food outlets and shopping malls, when an estimated 73 million sharks are killed annually just for their fins to supply this avarice, where is the dignity, the cultural pride in this? I ask you to take a long look at this issue before impeding the Bill.

Sir, the changing face of our planet and its natural resources requires that people and its varied cultures change. That which sustains us deserves respect in return. We can no longer continue to just take, the time is upon us now to give something back.

Sharks regulate the balance of nature in our Oceans, without them that finely tuned ecosystem becomes ineffective. We all need healthy seas, not just for now but into the future, and that includes the future generations of your family too. I don't think you would like for them to realize that you opposed the introduction of a Bill that would prevent the destruction of the Oceans they depend on for their future sustenance?

I hereby request that you do the right thing Mr. Senator, that you accept the fact that the spoils of an industry so inhumane has no longer a place in our modern society, to defend it would be to suggest that you agree with the inhumanity it represents. Palau, the Maldive Islands, Guam and Hawaii to name a few have already embraced this fact and acted accordingly. It is now time for California to join that list.

I implore you sir, for you, your future family generations and for the well being of our Oceans, to do the right thing.

Sincerely,A Proud Member of The Global Shark Initiative.

billpo
billpo

Chickens and Cows.

While livestock abuse should certainly be addressed, it bears no relevance to the topic of shark finning. Because of shark finning and (to a MUCH lesser extent) shark fishing over 30 percent of shark species are at extinction or near-extinction level. Many of the other species are nearing those levels as well. The last time I checked chickens and cows (animals born and raised to feed humans) had no such population troubles. There will be no way to "regulate" the take of shark fin. The demand in China (and other parts of the world) is too ravenous. The take, possession, and sale of shark fins must be banned in order for the apex predators to survive.

Liemlionel
Liemlionel

Do we stop eating chickens just because KFC abuses their chickens? Do any of you posters even know that livestock abuse is systematic and widespread in America? Is the solution to this animal abuse to ban chicken meat in all supermarkets? Or is a more sane and proper solution be to simply regulate the industry?

So why specifically target shark fins? It's because the ethnic Chinese in the US are a small community and easy to bully. Why should the Chinese stop eating shark fins just because sharks are abused in the process. Can't we just regulate the trade. Leland Yee is not promoting for the trade on illegal shark finning. Rather he is saying that shark fins obtained through legal methods be allowed in restaurants.

The real problem here is not whether we should ban shark fin or not. It is how to stop the abuse and overfishing.

Lastly, for those of you supporting the ban on shark fin soup just because it's 'bland' and 'gelatinous', I'm glad you are not in power. Who knows. The next thing you'll do is ban McDonalds because big Macs are oily and fatty. Whether the dish tastes nice to you or not isn't any reason to ban it. Besides cheese is disgusting to the Chinese too but I don't see any Chinese in China clamouring to ban the solidified decomposed mucus that comes from a cow's udder.

mark
mark

Do you seriously compare farm raised poultry to wild, apex predators of the oceans? If Leland Yee wanted to kill African lions to make soup from their tails, would you support that too? All animals are the same to you, right? Do you also support mlikng the bile from bears and hunting tigers to extinction under the false and reprehensible accusation of racism?

Ticktop
Ticktop

I'm Chinese & I say screw the culture BS stance Leland Yee. The same with Tiger parts & all the BS animal parts of Chinese medicine. Leland Yee is a disgrace to the Chinese people, vote this idiot out of office.

BZ
BZ

Cutting off a shark's fin and throwing the shark back into the water to die FOR SOUP is disgusting. Sen. Leland Yee says this is ok. Ban the soup; let the heatless a-holes find something else to eat.

ericmills
ericmills

Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jared Huffman will hold a press conference on Monday, February 14 at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, 9:00 a.m., to announce the introduction of this much-needed legislation. Be there in support. Then write your legislators in support of this bill. ALL LEGISLATORS MAY BE WRITTEN C/O THE STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA 95814.

Not surprising that Senator Leland Yee is opposed to the bill. He also was a major player in the recent reversal of the State Fish & Game Commission's ban on frog and turtle imports for the Chinatown live food markets (where the animals are routinely butchered while fully conscious).

Let's make this an issue in the upcoming mayoral debates in San Francisco, and make Senator Yee sorry he ever took this unfortunate stance, putting "culture" over environmental protection and animal welfare.

Letters to the Editor, SF CHRONICLE: letters@sfchronicle.com

xEric Mills, coordinatorACTION FOR ANIMALSOakland email - afa@mcn.org

Patrick
Patrick

Yet another reason to dislike Leland Yee. It's completely inhumane to serve this crap.

Crablover
Crablover

FYI, sharks fin dumpling is named after the shape with the crimp along the dorsal spine. They don't have sharks fin in them.

Bill Powers
Bill Powers

"A goopy mess" is right! Time is right to stop this heinous, barbaric, dangerous (shark fin contains high levels of mercury) act. Shark population numbers can not support it... in any form or at any level.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

I wouldn't even consider eating at a place that sold something as inhumane as shark fin soup.

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Your proto-typical politician is embodied by the likes of "spineless" leland. All the traits that one would despised is upheld by Lee as he will connive, stoop, bend, pander and do just about anything and anyone to claw his way to the top discarded ideals and values he once held dear.

dubstepc
dubstepc

"bland, gelatinous dish"that pretty much describes most Chinese food. Most overrated cuisine in the world

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