Gov. Pat Quinn today signed a new law that bans the sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins in Illinois. The practice of harvesting shark fins, most commonly for shark fin soup and Asian cuisine, usually results in the shark’s death. As part of Governor Quinn’s efforts to stop animal cruelty and preserve natural resources in Illinois, this new law will help end the killing of sharks for their fins and prevent the collapse of shark populations worldwide.
“Sharks have roamed our oceans for millions of years but the practice of harvesting them for their fins poses a great threat to the species,” Governor Quinn said. “By limiting the market for shark fins, we will protect ocean ecosystems and shark populations around the world.”
House Bill 4119, sponsored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), bans the selling and trading of shark fins in Illinois, which are harvested and typically used in shark fin soup and Asian cuisine. Frequently, sharks are caught and their fins cut off to be sold or traded. The shark is then thrown finless back into the ocean where it bleeds to death or drowns.
“I would like to thank Governor Quinn for signing legislation and putting Illinois at the forefront of this important issue,” said Rep. Feigenholtz. “In addition to being inhumane, the practice of harvesting shark fins has had a devastating impact on worldwide shark populations and put at risk the balance of our global oceanic ecosystems.”
“In Illinois and Chicago, where we value our beautiful Lake Michigan, our rivers and natural resources we understand the importance of preserving and saving delicate ecosystems,” said Sen. Munoz. “Thank you, Governor Quinn, for helping us do what’s right and protect these animals.”