Two years after Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it illegal to possess or sell shark fin — the highly controversial delicacy that was once commonly served at Chinese weddings and other upscale gatherings — New York State has successfully prosecuted its first case against a shark fin vendor in Brooklyn, officials have announced.
Long Quan Seafood Corp. pleaded guilty to the felony commercialization of wildlife in court in June, and paid a $10,000 fine for the trafficking of shark fins, confirmed New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) acting commissioner Marc Gerstman. The shipment obtained by Long Quan Seafood Corp., tracked by the DEC, originated in Hong Kong.
According to the DEC, an estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year to meet the global demand for their fins.
“This is the first successful prosecution under a New York State law that took effect last July banning the possession, sale and distribution of most species of shark fins in New York State,” Gerstman announced in a statement. “Not only is the practice of finning a shark inhumane, but it negatively impacts the natural balance of the oceanic ecosystem. We will not tolerate shark fin trafficking in New York State.”