California Senator Huff’s argument against the shark fin ban

California state senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) has posted his opposition remarks made from the Senate Floor regarding California’s AB 376 (Shark Protection Act). Huff was in the minority of senators who opposed the bill, which passed on Tuesday with a vote of 25 to 9.

While most of the opposition seen in the press simply stated that the bill was “culturally biased” (which Huff seems to agree with), Huff also presented the argument that the shark fin ban would not address the root problem of shark sustainability, because it would not necessarily alter the number of sharks that could be caught in California waters, rather it merely bans the fins of caught sharks.

Huff also states that photos of shark carcasses with their fins removed are “misleading.” He goes on to support this idea by generalizing immigrants with the statement that “they don’t waste anything” and “eat everything” on a shark. Huff based his generalization on the fact that he lives in and represents an immigrant community.

Huff concludes that the shark fin ban will result in shark fins, which would otherwise have been consumed, being thrown away (given the assumption that the number of sharks harvested would remain unchanged after the shark fin ban). Huff views this as a wasteful practice and goes on to point out that “education” would be a more effective approach toward the root problem of shark sustainability.

The bill is now on its way to California Governor Jerry Brown. If Governor Brown signs the bill into law it would go into effect on January 1, 2012.

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