US backs off plans to overturn states bans on shark fin sales

In this undated photo provided by the University of California, Davis, the dorsal fin of a great white shark is seen near San Francisco. A new study finds that there are far fewer great white sharks living off California's coast than scientists had expected. (AP Photo/University of California, Davis)

February 5, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The US federal government is backing off plans to overturn state bans on the sale and possession of shark fins.

Congressman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, Wednesday applauded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's decision.

Huffman co-authored California's ban in 2011 to put an end to shark finning, the controversial practice of cutting off a live shark's fin and then dumping the shark back into the ocean.

NOAA said it was initially concerned state bans could hurt fishermen who catch sharks for their meat, not their fins.