KQED Forum Show on the State Shark Fin Ban
A State shark fin ban is about sustainability. Supply cannot meet the demand.
The California shark fin market is contributing to a world decimation of sharks.
Sharks are important to the health of the oceans and directly to peoples of all cultures.
With the Hamilton Lab at the California Academy Sciences Sea Stewards sequenced the DNA of shark fins bought in San Francisco.
Of 19 samples that were successfully sequenced discovered 14 species including sharks that inhabit California waters. Over half are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and one was is a species threatened with endangerment.
The latter was the prepared noodle and completely unrecognizable. Others were from species that live in the Indian and Atlantic oceans as well as the Pacific Ocean. This is an international trade affecting sharks worldwide. As Dr. McCosker said, sharks cannot be farmed due to their biology. There is no sustainable source of shark fins from any fishery to support the demand.
To screen sharks at the ports is unviable. DNA analysis is a time intensive, costly and laborious process and cannot be (as one caller suggested) used on a large scale to screen sharks.
This is about sustainability. There are sustainable alternatives to shark fin soup.
We are joined by Asian Americans and Asian American groups like the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance in supporting sharks and banning the sale of shark fins.
Senator Yee has been informed in meetings about the facts. We hope that he will change his stance and support sustainable solutions independent of any culture.