The New York City Department of Health is banning the sale of shark fin soup for the foreseeable future.
It has been a tradition in New York for more than a century, but the Department of Food and Agriculture (FDNY) announced on Thursday that the sale and distribution of shark fins, the “trident” of which are harvested for shark finning, has been banned due to a public health threat.
According to a statement released by the FDNY, the department has found “evidence of a public-health threat from shark fin consumption in the City of New York.”
The FDNY also noted that the practice of finning shark fins has been known to result in severe infections in humans, and is associated with the use of antibiotics in the shark fin industry.
According a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, the ban will take effect on March 10.
The mayor’s office says the ban does not apply to city parks, beaches, or waters, but rather to public swimming pools, zoos, and aquariums.
The announcement comes amid a surge in shark sightings in the city and surrounding waters.
In the past two weeks, reports of the sharks have been up by 100 percent.
According to a NOAA survey conducted last year, shark fin fishing in the state of New Jersey, New York, and Delaware has increased by 1,400 percent.