01 June 2010

Hawaii passes ban on sale and distribution of shark fin

A law designed to prohibit the sale, possession and distribution of shark fin and shark fin products was passed by Hawaiian lawmakers late last week.

The bill, championed by Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahuku, La'ie, Ka'a'awa, Kane'ohe, and Rep. Angus McKelvey, D-Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea, Kihei, will take effect July 1 of this year. On July 1, 2011 the legislation will further prohibit the retail sale of products such as shark fin soup.

"Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Senator Hee, Representative McKelvey and thousands of supporters both locally and worldwide, Hawaii has become the nation's leader in shark and ocean protection by enacting this unprecedented measure," said Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for The HSUS.

According to the HSUS shark finning “involves cutting off the fins of sharks then throwing the shark back into the ocean, often while still alive, only to drown, starve or die a slow death due to predation from other species.”

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Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/the-lees