Federal rule could upend states' shark fin bans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Several members of Congress representing coastal states are voicing concern about a proposed federal regulation that could pre-empt state bans on buying or selling shark fins.

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California is joined by representatives of New York, Florida and Guam in seeking changes to a proposal that would take away a state tool to protect shark populations.

California, Hawaii, New York and several other states have passed regulations on the sale and trade of shark fins, which are used in a soup considered an Asian delicacy. They say a proposed rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would undermine those laws.

Conservation groups have begun circulating petitions against the proposal. The fishing industry argues that federal pre-emption is necessary to maintain fishing of commercially viable shark species.

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