Jan. 09/14

Conservation groups have welcomed the Government's announcement to speed up the banning of shark finning in New Zealand waters, but say the devil could be in the details.

The Government has decided to speed up the process in the face of overwhelming public concern.

Around 45,300 submissions were made about the draft National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, which proposed an end to shark finning by October 2016.

Nov. 10/13

New Zealand is to ban shark finning in its waters within two years, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced Sunday.

It is already illegal in New Zealand to slice the fin off a shark and throw it back alive, and Guy said the new ban would be extended to finning a shark and dumping the carcass at sea.

It will start to take effect in some areas next October and cover all New Zealand waters by 2016.

"The practise of finning sharks is inconsistent with New Zealand's reputation as one of the best managed and conserved fisheries in the world," he said.