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Hawaii To Outlaw Shark Fin Soup, Possession of Shark Fins

Hawaii will become the first state in the U.S. to ban the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins.

Caribbean reef shark

Photo: alfonsator (via flickr)

At higher-end restaurants in Hong Kong, one serving of shark fin soup can cost $1000.

Hawaii will become the first state in the U.S. to ban the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins. Starting July 1, 2010, offenders caught with shark fins will face up to $50,000 in fines and a year in prison.

Shark fin soup is considered to be an important cultural delicacy, especially among Hawaii’s large Chinese population.

Some proponents claim shark fin soup helps treat cancer, and is good for bone, kidney and lung function.

But the supposed benefits come at a high cost. The Shark Research Institute says about 100 million sharks are killed every year.

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Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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