Status of Maryland Shark Fin Trade Bill

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The Maryland General Assembly has given its  final approval to a bill to outlaw the shark fin trade in the state, and has sent it to Governor Martin O'Malley for his signature. The demand for shark fins as an ingredient in the luxury  Chinese dish -- shark fin soup -- has resulted in the loss of millions of sharks.  Often, the fins are sliced off a shark and the mutilated animal is tossed overboard to die a lingering and painful death.

The sponsor of the Maryland bill, Eric G. Luedtke, a Montgomery County Democrat, said passage of this  law will make Maryland the first and only state on the US East Coast to ban shark fins. The law makes exceptions for museums and for the state's shark fishermen, who are allowed to continue landing whole sharks.

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