The California Shark Protection Act gained final approval from the state’s legislature yesterday. The bill will ban the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins, the chief ingredient in shark fin soup, which can cost up to $100 per bowl. Acquiring the controversial ingredient entails slicing the fins off sharks and throwing the sea creatures back into the ocean alive and disabled, a practice which animal advocates have deemed cruel and unnecessary. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, the ban would take effect in 2013. “It’s time to stop serving a soup that is driving sharks to extinction,” says Paul Fong, an assembly member and one of the bill’s sponsors, to CNN. President Obama signed legislation in January, which tightened an 11-year-old ban on the practice in federal waters. California’s bill may actually have a greater impact than the federal legislature, as an estimated 85 percent of dried shark fin imports to the US come through the state.
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