In 2013, Illinois became a leader in shark conservation by banning shark-fin productsbut, according to an Animal Welfare Institute ( AWI ) report, five restaurants ( three in Chicago, one in Champaign ) in the state still serve the dish.
In addition, the report also says that United Airlinesheadquartered in Chicago's Willis Toweris one of the only U.S. airline still willing to transport shark fins.
As Shark Week kicked off July 28, AWI said that restaurants across the nation are contributing to the rapid decline in shark species by serving soup made from shark fins, despite bans in at least 12 states.
In Illinois, the restaurants that AWI said it verified sold shark-fin items include the Champaign spot Mandarin Wok, 403 1/2 E. Green St., as well as Chicago eateries Emperor's Choice Restaurant, 2238 S. Wentworth Ave.; Friendship Chinese Restaurant, 2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.; and Silver Seafood Restaurant, 4829 N. Broadway.
[Note: Looking at the online menus only showed that Friendship listed a shark-fin itemalthough the contents of the actual physical menus may vary. Windy City Times reached out to Friendship, but had not heard back by the time of publication.]
The full list of restaurants that reportedly still serve shark-fin products is at awionline.org/content/restaurants-currently-offering-shark-fin-soup .