What could be worse than the Financial Times banning pictures of pipes and cigars but allowing pictures of guns? (Something which the paper denied despite the glaring evidence.)
A state banning possession of shark fin but allowing possession of guns, that’s what!
Kirin Restaurant in Honolulu has been serving shark fin since it opened 25 years ago but come July 1 their US$48-a-serving shark fin will no longer be available.
That’s because come July 1, Hawaii will become the first US state to ban the possession of shark fins.
It is trying to help end the overfishing and extinction of sharks worldwide.
Governor Linda Lingle on May 28 signed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins. The bill passed the state House and Senate with broad support earlier this year.
The legislation generated some grumbling in Hawaii’s sizable Chinese community – more than 13 percent of the state population is Chinese or part Chinese. Many consider shark fin a delicacy and important part of Chinese culture.
The ban also comes as the tourism-dependent state expects a surge in affluent Chinese visitors.
Restaurants serving fins will have until next July to run through their inventory. After that, those caught with fin will have to pay a fine between US$5,000/- to US$15,000/- for a first offense. A third offense would result in a fine between US$35,000/- to $50,000/- and up to a year in prison.
I’ve said time and again that not all sharks are hunted for their fins and not all sharks are becoming extinct but I guess if law makers choose to be stupid, what can I do?
Just look at the governor – the collagen from shark fin would have done her face some good.
Well, I guess she prefers plastic surgery.