New York State Assembly Members Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn), Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) introduced new legislation (A.7707a/S.6431) today that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins throughout the state. If enacted, New York would join Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the national movement to protect sharks. Recently, several East Coast states, including Florida, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia, have also introduced similar legislation. Oceana’s chief scientist and senior vice president for North America Dr. Michael Hirshfield issued the following statement in reaction to the announcement:
“Like American buffalo, shark populations were once bountiful. Shark fin soup has been as bad for sharks as the pickled buffalo tongue fashion was for buffalo.
Demand for shark fin soup is responsible for the slaughter of these magnificent creatures so essential to the health of our oceans. Oceans without sharks are oceans out of balance, which means trouble for everyone who depends on oceans for food, jobs and enjoyment.
Eating shark fins is as absurd as eating tiger paws. Not only is it cruel and wasteful, but it’s wrecking the oceans. It is time for shark finning to stop once and for all. Passing this legislation is an important step towards that goal.”
This bipartisan state legislation is led by Assembly Members Maisel and Meng and sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo).
Oceana gratefully acknowledges the support of its generous supporters, including the Moore Charitable Foundation, for its work to safeguard sharks.
To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to protect sharks, please click here.