Monday, European Union nations backed a complete ban on the practice of removing sharks' fins before throwing the fish back into the sea to die.
The EU nations said they want all boats in their waters and EU-registered boats anywhere in the world to land sharks with their fins attached. The proposals still need the support of the European Parliament before they can become law.
EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki said the law would "ease control and help us eradicate shark finning," which she called cruel to the animals and a vast waste of resources.
Last week the European Parliament began its work on the Commission’s proposal to close major loopholes in the EU ban on shark finning submitted in the fall of 2011.
The European Commission has proposed ending special permits that allow fishermen to cut off shark fins at sea and land them separately from the bodies under a legal exemption to the overall EU requirement for landing sharks with their fins naturally attached.
ICCAT protects silky sharks, leaves porbeagles vulnerable and finning ban weak
Fishing nations at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) have acted on one of three shark conservation proposals. ICCAT Parties adopted protections for silky sharks, based on a proposal from the EU, Brazil, and the US. Proposals to protect porbeagle sharks and to strengthen the ICCAT ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) were defeated.
Scientists and law-makers across the world are prioritising the protection of sharks, but critics say the measures don't work.
The shark that lands on the deck of the Coral Princess boat is 6.5ft of thrashing grey muscle and teeth, and the crew can't wait to get their hands on him.
They slip a plastic breathing tube through rows of sharp, serrated teeth to pump water over its gills, and get to work: measuring, taking blood and tissue samples, and drilling a small hole in its dorsal fin to attach a satellite transmitter. The device looks a bit like a bath toy.
Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia's Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and silky sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins.
Sandra Bessudo, the Colombian president's top adviser on environmental issues, said a team of divers who were studying sharks in the region reported the mass killing in the waters surrounding the rock-island known as Malpelo, some 500 kilometres from the mainland.
On Saturday 9th July Sub-Mission Dive Club in the UK organised a charity Fin-athon called Fin4Finning. Divers were targeted with completing 100,000,000 millimetres in mask and fins collectively, swimming from 8 am until 10 pm.
Last week, governments gathered in La Jolla, California for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) responsible for managing tuna fisheries across an area totaling approximately 68 million square kilometers (26 million square miles).