EC to remove ‘loophole’ in shark-finning ban

The European Commission on Monday proposed a ban on shark finning that would require all EU vessels and all vessels fishing in EU waters to land sharks with the fins still attached.

Intended to protect “vulnerable” shark populations worldwide, the ban would strengthen existing EU legislation that allows fishermen to remove fins onboard and to land fins and shark carcasses in different ports. If the ban is approved, this “loophole” would be outlawed.

“By closing the loophole in our legislation, we want to eradicate the horrendous practice of shark finning and protect sharks much better,” said EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki. “Control will become easier and shark finning much more difficult to hide. I very much look forward to the council and the European Parliament accepting our proposal, so that it becomes law as soon as possible.”

However, if the ban is approved, fishermen would be permitted to slice partly through each fin and fold it against the carcass of the shark to facilitate storage and handling onboard.


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