Shark finning ban

09 Jul 2013
Shark finning is now banned in the EU. Credit: NOAA

Shark finning is now banned in the EU. Credit: NOAA

Now all sharks landed in EU ports and by EU vessels worldwide must have their fins still attached to their bodies.

The new EU regulation came into effect on 6 July, ending nearly a decade of battle to close several enforcement loopholes that had weakened the previous EU policy. Environmental group Oceana particularly notes an exemption used only by Spain and Portugal, which allowed some vessels to remove shark fins at sea, which made it extremely difficult to detect when finning had occurred.

“At long last, the EU has a real and enforceable ban on shark finning, with global implications,” commented Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana in Europe. “The EU catches more sharks than any country in the world, and plays a key role in regional fisheries management organisations where finning remains an acknowledged problem. After 10 years with a flawed ban in place, it can now make a serious effort to tackle the issue internationally.”

Oceana says that now this ban is in place, it is time for the EU to focus on other, equally important measures to reduce fisheries threats to sharks.

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