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New York Assembly Unanimously Passes Ban On Shark Fins [VIDEO]

CBP Photography, Flickr (US Customs and Border Patrol)

If Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a new bill into law you will not be able to sink your jaws into a popular seafood delicacy.

The New York Assembly voted unanimously this week to prohibit the sale, possession, and purchase of shark fins.

If the bill is signed, New York would become the seventh or eighth state to outlaw the fins.  The Texas House of Representatives also passed similar legislation on May 5, 2013.

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington have already passed laws prohibiting the trade or possession of fins.

Shark fins are considered a gourmet item by many, although the fins themselves are not said to have much taste.  The fins are used as the primary ingredient in shark fin soup, which is often flavored with another stock, usually chicken stock, and give the soup a unique texture.  Bowls of the soup, in high demand in Asian markets in particular, can sell for more than twenty times what other soups cost.  The market value for a single serving is about one hundred dollars.

The Shark Finning Prohibition Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000.  It banned finning in US waters, but only by ships registered in the United States.  President Barack Obama signed the Shark Conservation Act in 2011, which closed some of the loopholes in the SFPA.

Marine experts estimate that about seventy million sharks sink and drown in the world’s oceans annually as a result of having their fins severed.

The following video shown by Wired Magazine provides one perspective about the practice:

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