Shark Fin Is Banned In 12 US States – Then Why Is It Still On The Menu?

The sale of shark fins may be banned in US states, but restaurants are still selling it regularly. Why?

If you’re in Los Angeles and the mood strikes, you can order shark fin soup from China Gate Restaurant for home delivery for $16.95.

But that would be against state law. California is one of 12 states that bans the sale of shark fins—measures to help prevent further declines of shark populations and to deter finning, which has been illegal in U.S. waters since 2000. Although demand for shark fins for soup is greatest in Asian countries, there’s significant demand for them in the United States too.

A man who identified himself as the China Gate Restaurant owner’s brother says the online listing is a mistake and denies that the restaurant serves the dish.

Finning involves slicing fins off live sharks and tossing the wounded animals overboard, where they sink to the bottom and, unable to swim and pass water over their gills, suffocate, die of blood loss, or get eaten by other predators.

“It’s without doubt, the worst act of animal cruelty I’ve ever seen,” says celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in his television documentary on the shark fishing industry.

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Photo: Patrick Doll/Wikimedia Commons

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