The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands Governor has signed a bill making it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins.
The bill was first introduced earlier this month, and makes the Commonwealth the first United States territory to ban shark-finning.
Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the bill does allow for the catching of sharks for subsistence or non-commercial purposes.
"There was some support for what Hawaii is doing, and what Palau is doing with its shark sanctuary. It was just logical for CNMI to take this next step and ban shark finning here in the CNMI. Not less than US$5,000, but not more than $30,000, and imprisonment for 6 months if you are caught shark finning so it's a good deterrent for those would-be fisherman or restaurateurs who would be offering shark fin soup."