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April 27, 2012

One step closer to a complete EU ban on shark finning



While shark finning has technically been banned in the EU since 2003, a number of loopholes remain. Some countries grant special permits that allow fishing vessels to remove shark fins on board, on the basis that they keep both fins and meat and that landed fins do not exceed 5% of the live weight of sharks caught. This ratio is among the most lenient globally, and an additional loophole in the legislation allows fins and carcasses to be landed separately, making monitoring very difficult.

That’s why Oceana has been pushing hard for a “fins-attached” policy at the EU level. Well guess what? This Wednesday, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted in favor of the opinion which supports (and even strengthens) the Commission’s proposal to amend the EU ban on finning, with 50 votes in favor and 2 against. 

This is the kind of news we love to hear! Next up, the Fisheries Committee and the rest of Parliament have to vote – we hope they keep this positive momentum going!