EP to vote on shark ban
Shark fins. Credit: NOAA
Next week, the Fisheries Committee of European Parliament will vote to put in place a complete shark finning ban – a measure that the industry claims will cost them € 9.4 million.
According to an analysis by Oceana, Spanish and Portuguese surface longliners that are authorised to remove shark fins onboard vessels received more than €117,000,000 in EU subsidies from 1994 to 2007. The annual costs estimated by the sector represent, at most, 8% of this value. Of the subsidised vessels, 35 received more than €1,000,000 from the EU, while the sector estimates that the fins-attached policy would cost roughly €22,000 per vessel annually.
“European tax payers have invested a huge sum of money in these fishing vessels. They paid to help build them, modernise them, and support them while they headed off in search of new fishing grounds for sharks,” stated Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana Europe. “Now, Europe is asking these vessels to commit to sustainable fishing practices for the sake of both the sharks and the future of the fishing sector.”
Next week’s vote on the proposed amendment to the European ban on shark finning (EC 1185/2003) is critical for improving shark fisheries management worldwide, says Oceana. The EU fishes sharks in the Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean, and Pacific Oceans, ranks second in the world for shark catches globally, and plays a major role in international policy related to sharks.
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