The European Commission today released a long-anticipated report on EU Member States’ 2014 implementation of the EU ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) which finds few infringements and reaffirms the EU commitment to the most reliable means for finning ban enforcement: requiring that sharks be landed with fins still naturally attached. Such a rule greatly eases enforcement and facilitates collection of key species-specific catch data.
Fishing minister George Eustice promises to argue the case for precautionary catch limits for overfished species.
The UK government has pledged to fight the unlimited fishing that leads to millions of sharks being killed by EU boats in the Atlantic every year.
Numerous species once widely fished by the EU, such as the porbeagle shark, have already been driven to near extinction in the Atlantic. But other species, like the blue shark, continue to be caught in huge numbers by EU boats because there are no limits on their exploitation.
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.