07/31/2013 10:21 am ET Updated Sep 30, 2013

Shark Series Part 2

If you are not familiar with shark finning, it is a brutal process in which the shark's fin is removed for the purpose of making shark fin soup. The shark is then thrown back into the water where he/she is unable to swim and drowns to death. For a graphic clip of an actual occurrence of shark finning, click here. It is my hope that after viewing this clip you will want to join the fight to protect sharks.

Many in the ocean conservation community know what a problem shark finning is and what a threat it poses to the environment. Further, any major disruption to our ecosystem stands to threaten our entire existence. Much like the butterfly effect, when you kill a shark, you just don't know what kind of impact that can have on our environment. By eliminating an apex predator, you set off a chain of dominoes and there is no telling where they may stop. The amount of gross overfishing that has occurred in recent years may have already caused enough damage to cause certain species to become extinct in our lifetime. Organizations like Oceana allow you to log on and make your opinions known about the practice of shark finning.

Just last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill banning the trade of shark fins in the state of New York. While shark finning was already illegal in waters off New York, this also makes it illegal to trade shark fins in the state -- further enforcing New York's intolerance for the practice. Governor Cuomo stated, "Not only is the process inhumane, but it also affects the natural balance of the oceanic ecosystem." As my readers know, I am always a proud New Yorker but particularly at moments like these. Unfortunately, New York is in the minority on this issue so speak up and write to your local representatives, senators, Congress and governor and advocate for the environment that we all share!