Finning is the act of slicing off sharks’ fins while they are still alive, and then dumping their carcasses into the sea.
Sharks play a key role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems.
Rob Stewart, the creator of Sharkwater, a documentary that centres around shark finning, must be pleased with the news of the European Union’s proposal to blanket ban shark finning. The legislation has yet to be approved by a majority of EU governments before becoming law, but the European Commission has drafted rules forbidding all shark finning in EU waters, and by registered EU fishing vessels in other locations in the world. Currently, the legislation bans finning, but allows fishermen to land shark bodies and their valuable fins at different ports. This has contributed to a third of all European shark species being threatened with extinction.
In 2009, EU fisherman landed more than 110,000 tonnes of sharks and rays worldwide, giving Europe the second-biggest shark catch globally behind India, data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization showed.
China is the world’s largest importer and consumer of shark fins, which are the main ingredient in shark fin soup, and can fetch up to $1,400 each. The EU is the largest supplier of fins to China. [Read full article].
If you would like to learn more about shark finning and what you could do to help stop the practice, check out Sharktruth, a Vancouver grassroots organization educates people about shark finning.