Now banned in 12 US states and 3 US territories, the sale of shark fin soup has been made illegal in certain areas of the US, but that doesn’t mean it you can’t still find on the menu. And according to reporters at National Geographic, if you’re in LA and the mood strikes, you can call up China Gate Restaurant and order yourself a bowl of shark fin soup for home delivery at a price of only $16.95. Wait, what? So how is that possible?
Although the sale of shark fins is prohibited in 12 US states and finning a shark and tossing the live body back into the ocean is illegal in ALL 50 states, the import of shark fins from other countries, as well as finning a shark once it reaches shore, is still completely legal. Furthermore, and like in the case of China Gate Restaurant, many states that do have a shark fin ban are still selling the dish based simply off the age-old principal…where there’s a demand, there’s an opportunity for profit.
So, while the political debate continues on “would a nationwide ban actually make an impact on the fishing industry, or would it still be done illegally,” we’ve come to the conclusion that the real power to end the shark fin trade isn’t rooted in campaigns, governing bodies, or scientists. The real power remains rooted in the consumer. Eliminate the demand, preserve the shark species.
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