New York becomes the 8th US state to ban the sharkfin trade



Today,  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill banning the trade in shark fins in the state of New York. The law goes into effect July 1, 2014, and has an exemption for dogfish. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed worldwide for their fins -- an ingredient in sharkfin soup -- to meet market demand.

Finning of sharks is illegal in the USA and New York coastal waters, as is sport  fishing for many shark species.

Cuomo calls the practice inhumane and says it also upsets the natural balance of the ocean ecosystem by eliminating the ocean predators.

Here is the full text of the law...

S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


1711—B Cal. No. 283

2013-2014 Regular Sessions

I N  S E N A T E


January 9, 2013

Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, AVELLA, BALL, BONACIC, BOYLE, BRESLIN, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, GOLDEN, HOYLMAN, KRUEGER, LATIMER, LITTLE, SAVINO,SERRANO, YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first report, amended on first report, ordered to a second report and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of second report

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the possession, sale, offer for sale, trade or distribution of shark fins


Section 1. Section 13-0338 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 231 of the laws of 1992, paragraph a of subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 308 of the laws of 1999 and subdivision 4 as amended by chapter 428 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:

S 13-0338. Sharks; DEPARTMENT AUTHORITY; finning prohibited.

1.  For purposes of this section:

a.  "Shark" means any species of the subclass Elasmobrachii except species in the order Batoidei,

b.  "Finning" means the removal of a fin of fins from a shark and not retaining the remainder of the  shark's carcass[.]; AND

c.  "Shark Fin” means the raw, dried or otherwise processed detached fin including the tail .

2.  No person shall engage in finning on the waters of the marine and coastal district.

3.     a. No person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, trade or distribute a shark fin, provided, however that this prohibition shall not apply to any shark fin that was taken from a spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) or a smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) lawfully caught by a licensed commercial fisherman.A

b. A shark may be possessed by any person if the shark was lawfully caught and the person has a recreational marine fishing registration or a license or permit from the department for bona fide scientific research or educational purposes.

4.   The department may, until December thirty-first, two thousand thirteen, fix by regulation measures for the management of sharks, including size limits, catch and possession limits, open and closed seasons, closed areas, restrictions on the manner of taking and landing, requirements for permits and eligibility therefor, recordkeeping requirements, requirements on the amount and type of fishing effort and gear, and requirements relating to transportation, possession and sale, provided that such regulations are no less restrictive than requirements set forth in this chapter and provided further that such regulations are consistent with the compliance  requirements of applicable fishery  management plans adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and with applicable provisions of fishery management plans adopted pursuant to the Federal Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. S1800 et seq.).

S 2. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.