July 17, 2013

Shark Finning Loopholes Closed in EU

Last week, stricter rules were applied to an existing ban on shark finning. The practice of removing live sharks’ fins and discarding the rest of the animal at sea has been banned in the European Union since 2003, however exemptions and loose language in the regulation made it possible to continue shark finning. 

The tighter regulations will require all fishermen to land sharks with fins attached. Shark finning will be forbidden on any boat within European Union waters and any boat registered with the EU—regardless of where it is. 

This is a victory among shark advocates who have long held the practice as cruel. Sharks are often thrown back into the sea alive after their fins have been removed and are left to drown. 

With estimates that 90 percent of the ocean’s top predators have disappeared in the past 50 years, the EU’s move to help protect sharks is imperative. Considered to be a “keystone” species, sharks have played a major position in marine ecosystems for 450 million years. Their protection means thriving food webs and prey populations.

Save Our Shores is delighted that the EU has taken these extra steps to protect such amazing and fundamental creatures!

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