NY Moves to Ban Sale of Shark Fins

Written by on April 26, 2013 in Policy & Ocean Law, Sharks
Shark finning.

Shark finning. Photo credit: Oceana/LX.

On Tuesday evening, the New York State Senate passed a bill that will ban the sale, trade, distribution and possession of shark fins throughout the state.

International advocacy group Oceana applauds this decision, particularly because last year the Senate failed to pass the bill at the last minute.

The bill now goes to the NY Assembly. Oceana is encouraging the Assembly to “follow the Senate’s footsteps,” in order to help protect sharks worldwide. If it’s passed by the Assembly, the bill will continue to the Governor who must sign it within ten days.

Shark finning is illegal in the U.S., but there are no federal laws regarding the sale or trade of shark fin products. So far, the only other states to ban the sale/trade of shark fins include California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Illinois.

According to Oceana, NY is the largest importer of shark fins on the East Coast. With the passage of this bill, NY will become one of the first East Coast states to join the national shark protection movement along with Maryland where a similar bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

“The widespread support for a ban on the shark fin trade shows that sharks are worth more in the oceans than in a bowl of soup.” said Beth Lowell, campaign director at Oceana.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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  1. surfratt says:

    So what will happen to all the fins of legally commercially harvested sharks? Does it make sense to throw out part of a legally caught fish? Sharks can be caught legally and sold in fishmarkets or restuarants. Why couldn’t hte fins of those sharks be sold too? It doesn’t make much sense for anyone to object to the legal sale of shark fins when the rest of hte animal is being sold already.

    And by the way, shark finning is only illegal if the whole shark is not landed. If the whole shark is brought into port then it is very legal to fin the shark and sell those fins.

  2. Emily says:

    It seems clear that as long as there is a legal market for shark fins, unscrupulous people will try to fulfil it. Banning shark fin products in the way New York and many other places have does not affect the commercial harvesting of certain sharks. The fins, along with many other non-dinner plate parts of the animals are used for fertilizer and animal feed. They are not going to waste. The real issue here is that we just need to stop hunting sharks altogether. Nearly 80 percent of all sharks in the ocean are gone. We have no need to hunt them to eat.