Help Shark Stewards Enforce the CA Shark Fin Ban

It is now illegal under California State law to possess, sell, offer for sale or trade sharks fin or shark fin products.  However, violations are being reported. Fines are low, profits are high and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are undermanned.  Based on a tip, CDFW raided  the Kwong Yip Company of San Francisco and confiscated over 2000 pounds of shark fin. The trial lead to the conviction of the owner who received a 30 day jail sentence, 3 years probation and confiscation of over 1 million dollars of fins.

We still have information on the other CA businesses selling shark fin illegally and are providing that to the CDFW.

 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife needs our help reporting poachers and violators of wildlife protection laws including the possession, sale or trade of shark fin or shark fin products including shark fin soup. We can help protect sharks and put the teeth in the California Shark Fin Ban, now upheld by the courts.

Here is how citizens can help:

* Tweet #SFSharkAlert with the address or location if you observe a violation.

Report to Shark Stewards and we will follow up.

* Take an image on your phone and share on SharkStewards Facebook.

* Observe businesses posting shark fin soup or products for sale and reporting them to us or to Cal-TIP at 888.334-2258.

* Ask employees if they serve shark fin soup and report that information to Cal- TIP or to Shark Stewards.

* Take photographs of shark fin products in California and reporting that information

* Report any shark without fins or shark fins from fresh sharks

Binoffins Shark Fins- San Francisco China Town. Photo David McGuire

Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters
1 888 DFG-CALTIP(888 334-2258)

A Confidential Secret Witness Program

CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters) is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide Fish and Wildlife with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters.

CalTIP was introduced in California in 1981 in order to give Californians an opportunity to help protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The toll free telephone number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You do not have to give your name.


Poaching is the illegal taking of fish and wildlife. It can involve hunting out of season, the taking of more fish or game animals than the law allows, and the illegal commercialization of species including abalone, sturgeon, bears, reptiles and many others. Equally devastating crimes include pollution and habitat destruction and the insidious practice of transporting and introducing non-native, undesirable fish (like northern pike and white bass) into California’s lakes and rivers.

Although deer are a frequently poached animal, virtually all other species of California wildlife are also subject to illegal activity including bear, elk, antelope, marine fish, crustaceans, abalone and other mollusks, inland fish, raptors, and reptiles.

Poachers devastate nature by breaking laws designed to assure proper wildlife management and species survival. Poaching is an insult to the vast majority of hunters and anglers who obey the rules.

Because poaching is a crime of secrecy and stealth, its full impact in California is impossible to fully gauge. However, enough poaching is documented to realize that it exacts a very heavy toll.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers do all they can to combat poaching. But there are only a few hundred wardens spread throughout California. To successfully fight poaching they must have help from all Californians.

As the population of California swells, the effects of pollution are felt more profoundly than ever.

Incidents of industrial and agricultural pollution as well as the dumping of household waste can be devastating to our fish and wildlife and the habitat on which they depend.

To combat polluting, concerned citizens who become aware of such acts can become involved and report their observations.

To Report a Poacher or Polluter

If you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, immediately dial the toll free CalTIP number

1 888 DFG-CALTIP (888 334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Be prepared to give the fullest possible account of the incident including the name, address, age and description of the suspect, vehicle description, direction of travel, license number, type of violation and when and where it occurred. You do not have to give your name.

Information from the call is relayed to the Fish and Wildlife region where the offense occurred and an investigation is undertaken locally. If the information supplied by the caller results in an arrest the caller becomes eligible for a reward. (Rewards up to $1,000 have been paid.) The case is then reviewed by a volunteer citizen’s group known as theCaltip Foundation“.

CalTIP rewards come entirely from donations, no state funds are used. The CalTIP Foundation, not the Department of Fish and Wildlife, receives and administers these funds. Money not used for the payment of rewards goes toward furthering CalTIP’s educational goals (public service announcements, informational videos, billboard campaigns,

How to Help

Observe and Call
When you see or become aware of a poaching or polluting violation, call us.

If you would like to report a violation in progress or a report an ongoing violation please call the CalTIP line. 1 888 DFG-CALTIP (888 334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you want to find out more about the CalTIP program or have questions about how the CalTIP program works, please e-mail Lt. Mike Milotz