EU finally ends shark finning

November 22, 2012
Glass containers filled with shark fins are displayed at a store in San Francisco's Chinatown in 2011. The European parliament on Thursday called a definitive halt to shark finning, the long contested practice of fishermen slicing off fins and throwing the live body overboard to drown.

The European parliament on Thursday called a definitive halt to shark finning, the long contested practice of fishermen slicing off fins and throwing the live body overboard to drown.

The EU prohibited shark finning in 2003, but an exemption allowed fishermen with special permits to remove the fins from their carcass out at sea and bring back the remainders or land them in different ports.

In March, fisheries ministers endorsed a proposal to force fishermen to bring sharks to port intact, but the measure needed the approval of the parliament.

Marine Oceana applauded the move, saying it marked a key chapter for shark conservation.

"The measure closes long-standing enforcement loopholes in EU policy on shark finning, will improve the collection of valuable data about shark catches, and will help to prevent the trade of fins from threatened ," it said in a statement.

Asia's taste for is viewed as a key threat to sharks, with marine protection groups saying up to 73 million are killed annually to satisfy demand for the delicacy.

EU nations combined account for the second-largest share, with 14 percent of the world's catches.

Slow to grow and with very few young per birth, sharks are exceptionally vulnerable with several dozen species threatened with extinction.

has also increased due to a strong demand for traditional medical cures in Asia, the ministers added.

"The EU is finally accepting its responsibility as a major global player in shark fisheries and shark fin exports," said Xavier Pastor, who heads Oceana Europe.

Explore further: Revised shark kill estimates are announced

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5 comments

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Lurker2358
3.3 / 5 (6) Nov 22, 2012
Fining should have been banned since the beginning of civilization.
ScooterG
1.6 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2012
It's difficult to comprehend why the chinese cling to such barbaric treatment of animals - finning, skinning frogs alive, etc. Being one of the oldest civilizations on earth, you'd think they would have progressed beyond such cruelty by now.

In China, there seems to be no reverence for any form of life.
madsam
1.7 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2012
When will people see traditional chinese medicine for what it really is? Ever increasing numbers of endangered species are endangered because of TCM, and china's thirst for animal parts.

We live in civilized societies, with significantly more advanced knowledge of science and medicine. 'Traditional' methods are nothing more than barbaric. We're not in the middle ages anymore, and the basis of these medicines is nothing more than combinations of guesswork and the placebo effect.
vlaaing peerd
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2012
It's difficult to comprehend why the chinese cling to such barbaric treatment of animals - finning, skinning frogs alive, etc. Being one of the oldest civilizations on earth, you'd think they would have progressed beyond such cruelty by now.

In China, there seems to be no reverence for any form of life.


Oyea, we in the western world are soooo animalfriendly, any idea what happened to your piece of beef, pork or chicken before it landed on your plate? Poultry gets stuffed so much they can't move anymore, pigs are fed their own dead species, cows stacked up so close they live their lives long in their won filth causing the most dreadul diseases, but ey...it's still cheaper to pump 'm full of antibiotics. No wonder european and asian restaurants actually advertise for not serving american meat.

Those Chinese believe that ancient medicines work, therefore perhaps naive and wrong but not unjustified. And we? we do it for cheaper meat.
packrat
3 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2012
Since there are more Chinese people on the planet than just about any other type then they can't be very far off the mark with most of their medicines.

Killing a shark just for the fin though seems to me to be quite wasteful of the rest of the animal.

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