New York is banning trade in shark fins starting next summer in an effort to protect the marine predators.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the law Friday, says an estimated 73 million sharks are killed worldwide to meet the market demand. The fins are used in soup popular in Chinese cuisine.
So-called "finning" of sharks is already illegal in U.S. and New York coastal waters. The practice involves catching sharks, cutting off their fins and returning them to the water to die.
Cuomo calls the practice inhumane and says it also upsets ecosystems by eliminating the ocean predators.
The law effective next July 1 accommodates some of the demand by allowing the sale of fins from two species of dogfish, considered the most abundant shark in the North Atlantic.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.