India bans shark 'finning' to protect species
NEW DELHI (AP) - India has banned hunting sharks for only their fins in a move to protect endangered species from indiscriminate hunting for parts wanted abroad.
The practice of shark "finning," or slicing off a shark's fins and throwing it back to die slowly on the ocean floor from starvation or inability to move, has exploded worldwide due to demand from China, where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy.
India lists several of the dozens of shark species in its waters as endangered, including hammerheads, broadfins and whale sharks.
Under the Environment Ministry's new policy, announced on Monday, fishermen now found with hauls including detached fins risk up to seven years in prison for hunting an endangered species since identifying species by fins alone is difficult.