Can Shark Fins Be Sold Legally?

Currently there are very few regulations on the sale of shark fins worldwide. In 2010 the state of Hawaii recently set a precedent by passing a law to make the sale and possession of shark fins illegal. However shark fins can still be sold legally in countries that have adopted anti- finning agreements and regulations such as the US. These agreements require the shark carcass to arrive at the dock with the shark as required by US Federal law, or if severed, on an agreed fin to body ratio.


In some regions like the EU, this ratio is so high that it allows more sharks to be captured than reported by the actual fin weight. Most shark fins go to Hong Kong for processing, and can return as a dried product with no known source of where that shark lived or died, if it was legally harvested or finned on the high seas.  

Once it is in the market or in the bowl, most consumers will not know where the fin came from, or if it was harvested legally or illegally.  In 2012 the California Shark Conservation Bill, a law championed by Shark Stewards has taken effect and makes possession, trade and sale of fins illegal in this state.  Shark Stewards is leveraging this precedent to do the same by helping pass similar legislation in other 8 other US states with others underway.

We are now ensuring that the Shark Fin Ban has teeth to it. If you observe shark fin for sale or shark fin soup being served plese report the business using the form below or contacting Shark Stewards.



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