New York officially bans shark fin trade
New York became the eighth state to officially ban the shark fin trade. Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that would offer some protection to the estimated 73 million sharks killed for their fins each year, according to a press release.
Outside of Asia, New York is one of the largest markets for shark fins and a popular port of entry on the East Coast. In the United States, the fins are commonly used for making shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy.
Taking effect on July 1, 2014, the law bans the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in the state. Violations will result in a $100 fine for each shark and up to 15 days in jail. The current law prohibits finning in New York waters.
“Not only is the process inhumane, but it also affects the natural balance of the oceanic ecosystem. With this new law, New York will be doing its part to help preserve this important species and maintain a stable environment for them,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Leading the bipartisan effort were Assemblymember Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn) and Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo).
“I applaud the Governor for taking the final step in this process by approving the legislation. Our success will hopefully lead to additional nationwide actions to stop the inhumane and ecologically devastating shark fin trade,” Maisel said in a statement.
New York joins several states that have pushed for similar laws in the past few years. Patrick Kwan, director of animal rights group the Humane Society of the United States, praised the decision, saying, “New York will no longer be a haven for the cruel and unsustainable trade in shark fins.”