Can Shark Fins Be Sold Legally?

Currently there are very few regulations on the sale of shark fins. 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 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, 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 that will make possession, trade and sale of fins illegal.  Shark Stewards is leveraging this precedent to do the same in other states like Texas and the entire nation.

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