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Thursday, July 5, 2012 07:55 am

FINS FINISHED

If you’ve ever seen the BBC’s wonderful 11-part documentary titled “Earth,” you’ll no doubt recall the incredible power that great white sharks exhibit when hunting seals. The sharks practically explode out of the water, their terrifying serration of teeth slicing through their helpless prey. But while that awesome display of raw power may make the great white shark the most feared predator in the ocean, sharks in general don’t have it so easy. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins – and only their fins, with their bodies simply thrown back into the water after the fins are sliced off. Illinois is a major importer of shark fins, which are used to make shark fin soup – a delicacy in some Asian cuisine. But Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law this week outlawing the sale or possession of shark fins here, making Illinois the first inland state to ban them. “Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice that has extremely destructive consequences for shark populations,” said Beth Lowell, campaign director for the ocean conservation group Oceana. Shark finning is illegal in the U.S., she says, but no federal laws prohibit the trade of shark fins. 
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