According to KITV state legislature voted to approve Hawaii’s “Shark Fin Ban” (Senate Bill 2169), and the bill is now heading to a final vote.
If passed, the bill would ban catching sharks within three miles of the shoreline and would prohibit possession and distribution of sharks and shark fins in Hawaii.
According to KITV, the final vote could come as early as Friday (04/23). If the bill passes and is signed into law, it would take effect on July 1, 2010. However, there would be a one year grace period for restaurants and vendors who sell shark products to sell off existing inventories.
While supporters of the ban view shark finning as animal cruelty, opponents of a ban have argued that the consumption of shark fins (mainly in shark fin soup) is a “cultural custom.” In some cultures shark fin soup is viewed as status symbol. It has also been purported to possesses health benefits (none of which have any scientific backing).