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.
- A bill for an act relating to shark fins (complete bill)
- National Geographic's shark page (features, photos, & info)
- Hawaii to make eating shark fins illegal (MSNBC)