Albany - (WALK) Long Island naturalist and animal rights advocates cheering, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill meant to protect sharks, and the health of our ocean environment.
The bill, passed unanimously by the New York State Senate and Assembly, and was signed by the governor Friday. It bans the sale, trade, and distribution of shark fins.
"Finning" is the practice of cutting the fin off a shark then discarding its body, leaving it unable to survive. The practice threatens ocean environments by eliminating an important predator.
The practice of shark finning is already illegal in U.S. waters, but New York is one of the largest markets for shark fins, outside of Asia, where in some cuisine shark fin is considered a delicacy. Shark fins can reportedly sell for hundreds of dollars per pound.
"Every year an estimated 73 million sharks are killed to supply the growing global demand for their fins," said Cuomo.
"Shark finning is a cruel practice, which is needlessly endangering shark populations and threatening the health of our oceans," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the CCE.
The new law takes effect on July 1, 2014.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Cloneofsnake