(a) For the purpose of this section:
(1) “Shark” means any species of the subclass Elasmobranchii; it does not include smooth dogfish (smooth hounds), spiny dogfish, or species in the suborder Batoidea;
(2) “Shark fin” means the raw, dried, or otherwise processed detached fin or the raw, dried, or otherwise processed detached tail of a shark.
(b) Except as provided in this section, no person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute a shark fin.
(c) A person who holds a license or permit to take or land sharks may separate a shark fin from a lawfully landed shark during the ordinary course of preparing the body of the shark for consumption, sale, trade, or distribution; provided, however, that a shark fin so separated from the shark shall be immediately destroyed unless used by the person for the purposes of taxidermy and subsequent display.
(d) The director of the department of environmental management may issue a permit for the possession of a shark fin to a person conducting noncommercial, scientific research.
(e) Any shark fin seized by the director of the department of environmental management, or the director's agents, through the enforcement of this section shall be destroyed.
(f) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred ($500) dollars, nor more than one thousand ($1,000) dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that each shark fin possessed, sold, offered for sale, traded, or distributed in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense. Provided further, a violation of this section by a person holding a commercial or recreational license or permit pursuant to this chapter shall result in the suspension or revocation of such license or permit.
P.L. 2016, ch. 66, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; P.L. 2016, ch. 70, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.