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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mayor Lee Comes Out Against the Statewide Shark-Fin Ban

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

click to enlarge OHADBY/FLICKR

Today, on the Chronicle's "City Insider" blog, Heather Knight reported that interim Mayor Ed Lee has waded into the fight over AB 376. The bill would block the sale and import of shark fins across California. When Knight asked Lee for his thoughts on the ban, he told her, "I'm not supportive of any bans at this point," a statement that seemed to take her aback not only for its content but for its uncharacteristic bluntness.

Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jared Huffman introduced AB 376, which attempts to help prevent shark finning by eliminating demand, in February of this year. (I wrote about the ban in March.) AB 376 easily passed the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on April 6 and is now awaiting a vote on the Assembly floor.

Lee's rationale for opposing the ban, says the Chron: "We don't have to be anticultural to get to an enlightened method." His statement seems to echo the language that mayoral contender Leland Yee used when he called the proposed ban "an attack on Chinese culture" -- a statement he partially recanted several days later. Seeing as how the post has already attracted hundreds of angry comments, we'll see if the mayor holds equally firm to his opinion.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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