Continued from page 1

AB376 was approved by the California Assembly in May. On Monday, the Senate committee sent the bill to its suspense file, which is reserved for bills that could cost the state money.

The committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, said the legislation could be amended before it is sent to the full Senate to remove some exemptions that could permit some use of sharks.

“Now I have concerns that as long as any fins are allowed in California under the guise of some being legal, that it would keep our market open to many, many, many illegal fins,” Kehoe said.

State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, questioned how much good a California ban might do to deter harvests worldwide. He cited a National Marine Fisheries Service report to Congress that showed imports and exports of shark fins from the entire United States in 2010 were a fraction of 1 percent of the worldwide market.