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Governor Cuomo Signs Bill Ending the Sale and Distribution of Shark Fins in New York

Written by Joe Randazzo  |  28. July 2013

On Friday Governor Cuomo signed a bill that ended the possession, selling and distribution of shark fins in New York State. Cuomo signed the legislation in hopes of protecting millions of sharks that are killed each year. The bill comes into effect 2014 and puts an end to the Chinatown delicacy of shark fin soup. 
 
“Every year, an estimated 73 million sharks are killed to supply the growing global demand for their fins,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”
 
New York may not be the biggest shark-hunting state but it shut down the markets that are already out there. One of those markets is the export of dogfish to the British for their Fish and Chips restaurant. The 70 fishermen with these licenses have one year left of sending the shark's body to England and the fin to Asia. Other states with a shark prohibition are California, Illinois, Oregon, and the state of Washington.
 
Before this year's earlier California ban, 73 million sharks were killed on America's west side for $2,000 a pound. The demand increased after China’s middle class grew in the last few decades. This out-of-control demand pushed lawmakers to sign the law ending the distribution and exportation of sharks in California.
 
If Long Islanders wanted to get close to sharks in a less brutal fashion they could go on a shark dive in the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center after signing a liability waiver and pay the $160 fee. The dives happen daily at 11 a.m. No memberships or licenses are necessary and all divers, amateur or expert, are given a wetsuit, scuba gear, and underwater mask. 
 
[Source: The NY & LA Times, Governor Cuomo]

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