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Illinois Conservation Police confiscate shark fin from Chicago restaurant
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police have issued the first citation under a new state law that took effect January 1, 2013 banning the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins in Illinois.

On August 6, Illinois Conservation Police issued a $120 citation to Minghin Cuisine in the 2100 block of Archer Avenue in Chicago after confirming the restaurant had an authentic shark fin on display inside.

Conservation Police had received a tip that the restaurant's online menu listed shark fin soup as an item for sale prior to an onsite inspection. After being confiscated by Conservation Police officers, the shark fin in question was authenticated by staff at Chicago's Field Museum.

"While sharks are not part of our eco-system in Illinois, it is important that we play our part in the conservation and protection of these amazing animals,"¯ said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.

Illinois became the first non-Pacific state to enact a law that bans the sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins when Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation last July. The new law is designed to help end the killing of sharks for their fins and prevent the collapse of shark populations worldwide. Frequently, after a shark's fins are cut off for sale or trade, the shark is thrown back into the ocean alive, where it bleeds to death or drowns.

The citation issued this month is the first such citation issued by Illinois Conservation Police under the new law.