A Ban on Shark’s Fin in New York


New York may soon be joining seven other states to end the sale and possession of shark’s fin — an irresponsibly harvested luxury ingredient that has contributed to a serious decline in the world’s shark population. The state Assembly has unanimously agreed to halt sales of fins and several environmental and animal-welfare groups are now pushing Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law.

“Shark fin soup is nothing more than a status symbol, a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ kind of dish,” The Humane Society’s Patrick Kwan told Runnin’ Scared. (For further reading on that subject, I suggest Francis Lam’s excellent piece for Salon, “Is it racist to ban shark’s fin soup?“)

The ban would affect more than 100 restaurants in the city that serve shark’s fin soup and braised fins. It’s worth noting that shark makes an appearance on a few of New York’s Trinidadian menus too, but in the form of fried shark meat and shark ‘n’ bakes, not fins.