Starting in 2012, Taiwan will make history as the first Asian nation to ban shark finning. To obtain the central ingredient in shark-fin soup, fisherman use the cruel practice of shark finning—cutting the fins off sharks and throwing them back in the ocean to drown. While the new law doesn’t prohibit shark fishing, it disallows the practice of bringing the shark back in pieces, a measure which should reduce Taiwan’s status as the fourth largest shark-fin industry in the world. The Taiwanese ban is part of a growing worldwide trend, as the European Union has banned the practice and the state of California will prohibit the sale or use of the fins starting in 2013.
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