Gov. Jerry Brown signs shark fin ban

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Dried shark fins for sale in jars are displayed at a retailer along a busy street in the Central district of Hong Kong on Nov. 12, 2008. Many big shark species have fallen prey to booming Asian economies where shark-fin soup is prized as a must-have delicacy at weddings and other banquet occasions.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that would ban the possession or sale of shark fins throughout the golden state Friday.

Brown called the process of cutting fins off living sharks and then dumping them back into the ocean cruel and harmful to the world's oceans. These fins are often used for culinary purposes like shark fin soup.

Brown said research influenced his decision to sign AB 376 into law. “Researchers estimate that some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent, portending grave threats to our environment and commercial fishing," he said. "In the interest of future generations, I have signed this bill."

The bill was penned by by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and was signed along with a companion bill, AB 853, that allows for existing stocks to be sold up to July 1, 2013.

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