Gov. Neil Abercrombie agrees with Hawaii Sen. Clayton Hee and William J. Aila, Jr., chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, that Hawaii law prohibiting the possession and sale of shark fins should not be pre-empted by the federal government. Under proposed National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration rules, fishing vessels would be not be allowed remove shark fins in federal waters, but required to bring whole sharks into Hawaii to cut their fins off on land.
Gov. Abercrombie stated:
"We must preserve the strong position the Hawaii State Legislature took in May 2010 when Hawaii became the first state in the nation to make it illegal to possess, sell or distribute shark fins in the state. This model legislation symbolizes Hawaii's concern for the welfare of all creatures.
"We oppose federal pre-emption of the Hawaii law. Our law is working as intended. We have educated fishers and restaurants, and they are complying."