New York Considers Banning Shark Fin Soup

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, but there is nothing delicate about the way fishermen get the fins off the sharks. Fishermen catch the animal and drag it aboard the boat, hack off its fin muscles, then throw it back into the sea, unable to swim and certain to die. More than 70 million sharks every year drown, bleed to death or are eaten alive by predators after this mutilation.

New York State is moving towards joining the entire U.S. West Coast, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in banning shark fins to prevent the extreme cruelty and population depletion that are unavoidable ingredients of the soup, and New York City is jumping on board. On the East Coast, New York has the biggest market for shark fins.

Video: Shark Finning Cruelty

Even celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, a meat lover not known for compassion to animals (or even to sharks), filmed a documentary for British television exposing and vehemently denouncing shark finning.

New York’s City Council is considering a resolution calling on the state legislature and Governor Cuomo to enact a pending bill that would “prohibit the possession, sale, offer for sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins.” In a rally on May 17th by legislators and advocacy groups including the Humane Society of the United States, Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Oceana, and others, Asian-American City Council Member Margaret Chin said:

As we all know, in our country the main consumers of shark fin are Asian American communities. Shark fin soup may be a time honored tradition for a small group of people but it has no place in today’s society. Let’s call this trade what it is: illicit, inhumane and unnecessary. I stand here today to say that I will not support an industry that thrives off cruelty.

Photo credit: Humane Society of the United States

Council Member Daniel Dromm agreed, saying, “We must to put an end to the shark fin trade before it is too late. The practice is both cruel and reckless, and the effects on our ecosystem have been devastating.” Indeed, some shark populations have already fallen by up to 90 percent.

Legislation is not the only tactic finning opponents are deploying to end the inhumane industry. Ramsay screened video for and publicly called on restaurant owners to remove shark fin soup from their menus. In Vancouver, chefs competed in a “Sans Fin Soup Contest” sponsored by Shark Truth to create the best fin-free version of the recipe. In New York, restaurants that serve the soup are experimenting with substitutes for shark fins in anticipation of the ban becoming law. Let’s hope it does. New York residents, please help by signing this petition.


Related Stories:

Shark Fin Sales Could Soon Be Banned in New York

Yes, Chinese Culture Will Survive Without Shark Fin Soup

Blue Shark Numbers Plummet From Shark Fin Soup Demand


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Julie W.
Jules W5 years ago


Carrie Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Mandy Harker
Mandy H5 years ago

Woah even Ramsay is against Shark Fins! I've seen him almost mock vegetarians on TV so that's a surprise but a welcome and good one! Public figures need to help back us up if we're gonna win this battle. It's great to hear that once restureont is already trying supplements that don't involve killing innocent sharks in a horrible way! I'd be happy to be on that testing panel :D

Jingli Z.
Jingli Z5 years ago

Hope the ban goes through!

Elsie Au
Elsie Au5 years ago

Agree with many here that shark finning should be banned everywhere

Pat Coetzer
Pat Coetzer5 years ago

This should be banned worldwide, as should all food from animal products. Cruel and evil!!!!!

John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

Shark fining should be banned worldwide...

nicola w.
Jane H5 years ago

Ban it , ban pate too and stay away from bear paw soup too !
Traditional medicines - Pam W- you said it ! Why Asians want to torture animals species to make more people when they can't feed the numbers they have now is insane.

june t.
reft h5 years ago

Like Juliet D. I tried shark fin soup a while back, encouraged by a Chinese friend who told me it was good for the skin, was good for arthritis and wrinkles. I tried it only out of curiosity, but those were the beliefs she explained to me. The fin itself was tasteless, chewy and sinewy, and at the time I couldn't understand why it would be so highly prized. Any flavor was in the broth itself; replace the fin and it would probably be a more enjoyable soup. I believe it is one of those traditions that ought not be passed on, or at least tweaked to not include shark fin.