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Friday, 30 November 2012

EU: No to shark finning

The European Parliament has voted to end shark finning on all EU vessels and all vessels fishing in EU waters, closing regulatory loopholes that permitted the practice of removing shark’s fins on board freezer vessels before reaching port.
According to the European Commission, the move strengthens existing EU legislation and protects shark populations around the world. The previous 2003 Regulation against the practice permitted certain exemptions and was difficult to monitor. The proposal was adopted after public consultation with industry and other actors.
Fin removal, often carried out while the fish is still alive, hinders species identification and the collection of scientific data necessary for fisheries management and conservation. Also, EU’s international commitments to protect sharks are in line with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and its International Plan of Action on Sharks (IPOA-Sharks).
Shark finning is the practice of cutting off the fins of sharks – often while they are still alive - and then throwing back into the sea the shark without its fins. To facilitate storage and handling onboard vessels, fishermen will be permitted to slice partly through each fin and fold it against the carcass of the shark. The aim of the new rules is to better protect vulnerable shark populations across the world's oceans.


Source: European Commission