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Warning! This is a not the current version of this legislative bill.
Italicized text includes proposed additions to law or the previous version of the bill.
Struck text includes proposed deletions to law or the previous version of the bill.

(pdf version)
CHAPTER 524
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE OCTOBER 7, 2011
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR OCTOBER 7, 2011
PASSED THE SENATE SEPTEMBER 6, 2011
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY MAY 23, 2011
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 19, 2011
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MARCH 14, 2011

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Members Fong and Huffman
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Ammiano)

FEBRUARY 14, 2011

An act to add Section 2021 to the Fish and Game Code, relating to
sharks.



LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 376, Fong. Shark fins.
Existing law makes it unlawful to possess any bird, mammal, fish,
reptile, or amphibian, or parts thereof, taken in violation of any of
the provisions of the Fish and Game Code, or of any regulation made
under it.
This bill, except as specified, would make it unlawful for any
person to possess, sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute a shark
fin, as defined.
The bill, by creating a new crime, would impose a state-mandated
local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
(a) Sharks, or elasmobranchs, are critical to the health of the
ocean ecosystem.
(b) Sharks are particularly susceptible to decline due to
overfishing because they are slow to reach reproductive maturity and
birth small litters, and cannot rebuild their populations quickly
once they are overfished.
(c) Sharks occupy the top of the marine food chain. Their decline
is an urgent problem that upsets the balance of species in ocean
ecosystems and negatively affects other fisheries. It constitutes a
serious threat to the ocean ecosystem and biodiversity.
(d) The practice of shark finning, where a shark is caught, its
fins cut off, and the carcass dumped back into the water, causes tens
of millions of sharks to die each year. Sharks starve to death, may
be slowly eaten by other fish, or drown because most sharks need to
keep moving to force water through their gills for oxygen.
(e) Data from federal and international agencies show a decline in
shark populations worldwide.
(f) California is a market for shark fin and this demand helps
drive the practice of shark finning. The market also drives shark
declines. By impacting the demand for shark fins, California can help
ensure that sharks do not become extinct as a result of shark
finning.
(g) Shark fin often contains high amounts of mercury, which has
been proven dangerous to consumers' health.
SEC. 2. Section 2021 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:
2021. (a) As used in this section "shark fin" means the raw,
dried, or otherwise processed detached fin, or the raw, dried, or
otherwise processed detached tail, of an elasmobranch.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivisions (c), (d), and
(e), it shall be unlawful for any person to possess, sell, offer for
sale, trade, or distribute a shark fin.
(c) Any person who holds a license or permit pursuant to Section
1002 may possess a shark fin or fins consistent with that license or
permit.
(d) Any person who holds a license or permit issued by the
department to take or land sharks for recreational or commercial
purposes may possess a shark fin or fins consistent with that license
or permit.
(e) Before January 1, 2013, any restaurant may possess, sell,
offer for sale, trade, or distribute a shark fin possessed by that
restaurant, as of January 1, 2012, that is prepared for consumption.
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.