by Bailey Haack
A bill introduced Monday in the California legislation would ban the sale, possession, and distribution of shark fins, to the chagrin of some Chinese, who see it as an attack on their culture.
Democratic Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jared Huffman introduced the legislation on Monday, receiving support from multiple environmental groups, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Shark fins are used in a traditional Chinese soup, which is often served at important ceremonies such as marriages.
"People come to America to enjoy the freedom, including what's on the place," restaurant owner Kinson K. Wong, 58, said to the New York Times. He defends shark fins as a delicacy.
But, as Kate Slusark, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council says, "Their collection involves discarding the rest of the shark's body at sea." She told the LA Times that only about 2-5 percent of the shark is actually used.
Up to 73 million sharks per year are being harvested for their fins, according to the NY Times.