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Hawaii Becomes First U.S. State to Ban Shark Fin

No Shark Fin Soup For You! Hawaii Bans Shark Fin

Hawaii is still the land of poke and poi, but come 2011, don't expect to find shark fin. On Friday, governor Linda Lingle passed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale, or distribution of shark fins come July 1, 2011, making Hawaii the first U.S. state to ban the commodity. Shark fin is considered a delicacy in certain Asian countries, particularly in Chinese cuisine, where it's been served in opulent dishes since the Ming Dynasty.The practice of shark finning has long been the subject of animal rights activists, who cite that sharks are being killed for their fins at a shocking rate of 89 million per year, disrupting the ocean habitat. I'm torn on this issue. On the one hand, I understand the delicacy's environmental repercussions; on the other, I believe such laws are unlikely to reform Asian palates. Where do you stand? Do you see other states following suit?

Source: Flickr User avlxyz

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danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
I'm glad there is a ban. I think it's just as bad as any other animal product though.
Akasha Akasha 5 years
@Anon #6 - Actually it's not just us Anglo Westerners that have banned shark fin soup. When I was living in Australia 7 years ago they banned it as well due to the fact that tremendous amount of shark fishing has disturbed the entire ecological system down there. Without the sharks the octopus were becoming the top of the food chain and they in turn were wiping out the lobster and crab population. Australia banned it not only because of it's potential catastrophic effects to the ecosystem, but also because of the torturous ways that shark fins were collected. I'm guessing when it was a delicacy during the Ming dynasty they weren't slicing the fins off of 89 million shark per year.
Akasha Akasha 5 years
@Anon #6 - Actually it's not just us Anglo Westerners that have banned shark fin soup. When I was living in Australia 7 years ago they banned it as well due to the fact that tremendous amount of shark fishing has disturbed the entire ecological system down there. Without the sharks the octopus were becoming the top of the food chain and they in turn were wiping out the lobster and crab population. Australia banned it not only because of it's potential catastrophic effects to the ecosystem, but also because of the torturous ways that shark fins were collected. I'm guessing when it was a delicacy during the Ming dynasty they weren't slicing the fins off of 89 million shark per year.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
@Anon #6--Yeah, pretty much if the government says you can't eat/kill something, you can't do it. It's called poaching if you do, and it's highly illegal and you get prosecuted for it. I'm sure if people decided to kill some rare species of tiger for tiger paw soup or something, the government would ban that because they're an endangered species. Just because a food is considered a delicacy doesn't mean that people should feel like they're entitled to eat it.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
#6 I don't even know where to start with you. The law in question impacts Hawaii, which is not a foreign country so no one is interfering with what the rest of the world eats. I second the points above that just because we don't see sharks regularly doesn't mean we shouldn't care about what this soup does to an ecosystem. And more generally, I suggest that you read things more carefully before you emotionally blow up and spew xenophobic stereotypes.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
Probably the only Chinese who hasn't eaten a shark fin soup ever. Has heard of them but haven't eaten 'em is all. And no, I'm not vegetarian or vegan. And our family was pretty well-off (no financial hardship that we can't order such a cuisine), we just never try it. Although, I have to admit, it makes me curious, just like I'm curious about foie gras although I've not had it too. Hearing about something being banned always makes me curious.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
Probably the only Chinese who hasn't eaten a shark fin soup ever. Has heard of them but haven't eaten 'em is all. And no, I'm not vegetarian or vegan. And our family was pretty well-off (no financial hardship that we can't order such a cuisine), we just never try it. Although, I have to admit, it makes me curious, just like I'm curious about foie gras although I've not had it too. Hearing about something being banned always makes me curious.
spicy-basil spicy-basil 5 years
finally this should have been outlawed a long time ago. Recently I was flipping through the channels and saw how they de-fin a shark, it was terribly disgusting. You could see how the shark was struggling and the pain it was in, i was disgusted! Then they just threw the bleeding shark back in the water to sink and bleed to death.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
I am happy with the new law too, and I hope other states do the same. :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
I don't think we should be catering to peoples tastes if that results in permanent damage to the particular species.
brindey brindey 5 years
I completely agree with Bluesarahlou. I think January Jones works with a group committed to ending the de-finning of sharks for soup. Fishermen litterally catch the sharks, slice off the fins, and toss the sharks back in the ocean where they sink to the bottom and drown because they have no means to swim. As for catering to people's tastes, they must do whatever is legal in their own respective countries, but I for one am very happy with Gov. Lingle's new law.
brindey brindey 5 years
I completely agree with Bluesarahlou. I think January Jones works with a group committed to ending the de-finning of sharks for soup. Fishermen litterally catch the sharks, slice off the fins, and toss the sharks back in the ocean where they sink to the bottom and drown because they have no means to swim. As for catering to people's tastes, they must do whatever is legal in their own respective countries, but I for one am very happy with Gov. Lingle's new law.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
I think a universal ban on eating rare or threatened species of animal would be great. No more whaling (research my ass), no more shark, no more Bluefin, no more Chilean Seabass. The list goes on. <em>Everyone</em> needs to be more responsible about what they eat.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
I think a universal ban on eating rare or threatened species of animal would be great. No more whaling (research my ass), no more shark, no more Bluefin, no more Chilean Seabass. The list goes on. Everyone needs to be more responsible about what they eat.
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