EU Parliament Stands Firm Against Shark Finning

04 January 2011
Alyn Smith, SNP MEP for Scotland, has hailed the passage of a declaration in the European Parliament which firmly positions the Parliament against the practice of shark finning.
The written declaration calls for the European Commission to immediately bring forward a legislative proposal to prohibit the removal of shark fins onboard vessels in the EU.
Shark finning is the slicing off of a shark's fin (a practice driven by the high demand for the delicacy shark fin soup) and discarding the carcass at sea. With one-third of shark species in Europe threatened with extinction, and extreme declines in slow-growing shark populations, a ban on this practice cannot come too soon.
Smith said:
"I am delighted that this written declaration has received sufficient support for it to become official policy of the European Parliament.
"The current finning ban the EU has in place is woefully inadequate and this is the second occasion where the Parliament has requested that the Commission work to close finning ban loopholes, having done so already in 2006. With the current exemptions in the legislation that allow fins and carcasses to be landed separately, as well as an excessive fin-to-carcass weight ratio, Europe is lagging well behind the rest of the world.
"I hope the Commission will act at once to remedy this unacceptable situation."