Today, the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries backed the European ban on shark finning and confirmed that the Committee wants to see stricter controls but the vote on a report by Maria do Ceu Patrao Neves (EPP, Portugal) has led to confusion on the issue of whether or not special fishing permits that allow fishermen to remove shark fins on-board vessels will be upheld.
This is it! In just a few weeks, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote on amending the European Shark Finning regulation.
We are calling on the diving community to join us in demonstrating tremendous support across Europe as well as globally for the "fins naturally attached with no exceptions" policy - the best, most efficient and enforceable method to prevent shark finning.
Today, Richard Benyon, UK Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, swam with sharks at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium in support of strengthening the EU ban on shark ‘finning’ (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea).
The swim launches a Shark Trust initiative asking MEPs and aquariums across the country to work together to show their support for tighter shark finning regulations ahead of crucial votes this autumn.
The disturbing discovery by a Phuket News reader of the selling of endangered hammerhead sharks in Kata market has been exasperated by the shocking realisation that the practice is not ‘technically’ illegal.
Gwyn Mills, CEO of Pattaya-based environmental organisation Dive Tribe, explained that the laws in Thailand regarding fishing practices are murky at best.
“It largely depends on where they’ve been caught... There are harsher penalties if they’ve been caught in a National Park as opposed to open waters for example.”
Oceanic whitetip sharks and hawksbill turtles appear to have little in common, but sadly they share a similar fate - both are highly valued for just one of their body parts, while the rest of the animal is usually discarded.
Hawksbill turtle shells are used for jewellery and souvenirs, while the oceanic whitetip's long, curved fins are highly prized for shark fin soup. In both cases the flesh is less valuable and often discarded, though whitetip shark meat is consumed in some regions.