The horrific practice of fishermen removing shark fins, then throwing the shark back in the ocean to die will no longer be allowed within the EU!
Fishermen in EU waters and all EU-registered boats will now be required to land sharks with their fins attached. Forcing the fishermen to bring the sharks into port is meant to help prevent overfishing.
EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki compared shark finning to killing elephants for their tusks only. She explained to SFGate that the measures to better protect endangered sharks are a part of an overall policy to promote sustainable fishing. Decades of overfishing have brought several species to the brink of extinction.
The demand for shark fin soup as well as the use of shark fins in different eastern remedies has resulted in near-extinction for several species of sharks. Approximately 73 million sharks are killed every year to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup.
As Bloomberg reported, sharks are especially vulnerable to over-exploitation because they mature late and give birth to small numbers of young.
Although Damanaki and several member states advocated for a full ban on shark fishing, they faced strong opposition from countries including France and Spain. EU nations currently represent 14 percent of the world’s shark catches.
Image Source: Arte & Fotografia/Flickr