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Celebrating Victories: Shark Finning Banned in Central America and Dominican Republic

Project AWARE News

Project AWARE celebrates the recent shark finning ban for Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama waters and also but also on all vessels that fly their flags.

The harmonized, outright finning ban now in place in Central America and the Dominican Republic is a timely, critical argument in our battle to strengthen the existing European Union fining ban. For the past six years, as a steering committee member of the Shark Alliance, Project AWARE and our partners have been pushing for a strong, enforceable ban in EU where sharks are landed with fins naturally attached, without exceptions. Just a couple of months ago we’ve enthusiastically welcomed the long-awaited proposal from the European Commission to close the loopholes in the EU’s ban on shark finning.

Shark finning - the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea -- is an unacceptable fishing practice. It is associated with tremendous waste and unsustainable number of shark deaths. The difference between generally low value shark meat and high value shark fins drives the practice with fins selling for hundreds of dollars, euros or pounds per kilogram for use in a traditional Chinese soup.  

As members of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the eight countries adopted this binding regulation via the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Organization of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA). The regulations embrace a fins naturally attached policy – the easiest to enforce and most efficient way to end finning. In addition, it controls exports and imports of fins not attached to a body from or into SICA countries. A competent authority in the country of origin must certify that imported or exported fins are not the product of finning.

View the original news announcement here.

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