Empire State bans shark-fin sales

New York will stop sales of shark fins beginning July 2014

In a significant win for sharks, the state of New York has banned the sale of shark fins beginning July 1, 2014.

Shark fins have long been used in Chinese cuisine to make shark-fin soup, according to The Huffington Post. “Finning”—whereby fishermen catch sharks, cut off their fins and throw the fish back into the water to die—is already against the law in the U.S.

“Not only is the process inhumane, but it also affects the natural balance of the oceanic system,” said Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor. A lack of sufficient sharks in the food chain results in the overpopulation of other fish, resulting in damage to marine ecosystems.

Two species of dogfish, the most abundant North Atlantic shark, are not covered by the ban.