Judge Refuses to Block Shark Fin Ban
Author: Karen Gullo
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
January 2, 2012
A federal judge has refused to block enforcement of the state's shark fin sales ban, rejecting arguments that the law discriminates against Chinese Americans.
The law serves a legitimate local purpose based on concerns that shark finning, in which fins are removed from caught sharks and the carcasses thrown back into the water, kills millions of sharks annually, causing a serious threat to the ocean ecosystem, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland said in a written ruling Wednesday.
"Plaintiffs have provided no evidence that the law was enacted for the purpose of discriminating against Chinese Americans," Hamilton ruled. "Plaintiff's own evidence shows that only a small percent of Chinese Americans eat shark fin soup regularly, and that approximately half of Chinese Americans actually support the Shark Fin Law."
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