CHICAGO — A restaurant in Chinatown has the dubious honor of being the first restaurant in Illinois to be cited under a recently passed state law that bans the sale, trade, serving or distribution of shark fins.
MingHin Cuisine, 2168 S. Archer Ave., was cited for a petty offense and slapped with a $120 fine after state conservation police confiscated a shark fin the restaurant had on display.
"Fortunately, Illinois passed a law on January 1 that outlawed the sale and trade of shark fins," said Chris McCloud, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Despite the new crackdown, a DNAinfo Chicago reporter found three restaurants in Chinatown with shark-fin soup still on the menu.
IDNR became aware of the shark fin after receiving an anonymous tip.
The agency then turned the fin over to the Field Museum where scientists determined its authenticity.
The push to ban shark fins has picked up steam recently with the state of New York following Illinois' lead and passing a prohibition just last month. Illinois was the first inland state to pass a ban.
Shark fins are a delicacy used primarily for the production of a popular salty broth called shark-fin soup.
But the process of obtaining the fin is quite brutal.
A fisherman will capture the shark, cut off its fin and then toss the shark back into the water, leaving it to eventually bleed to death.
A representative from MingHin Cuisine declined to comment.