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.
Globally, up to 73 million sharks are killed each year to satisfy the demand of the international shark fin market. In 2009, EU fisherman landed more than 110,000 tonnes of sharks and rays worldwide, giving Europe the second-biggest shark catch globally behind India. Among them Spain, France, Portugal and Britain account for more than 90 percent of EU shark catches, with Spain alone accounting for more than half the total.
Just a few days ago the European Union’s executive Monday proposed to ban shark finning to all vessels fishing in EU waters, and all EU-registered vessels operating anywhere in the world. proposal strengthens the existing EU legislation banning shark finning, which allows by exemption and under certain conditions, to remove fins aboard and to land fins and shark carcasses in different ports. The ban is being proposed by EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki and is supported by European Parliament fisheries committee Vice-President Struan Stevenson
Learn more: Shark finning and the EU
EU proposes outright ban on shark finning.
Consultation document on the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) 1185/2003 (pdf)
Commission closes shark-finning regulatory loopholes
Maria Damanaki on Twitter