Yesterday, an European citizens’ initiative called “STOP FINNING – STOP THE TRADE” to ban shark finning and fishing was presented to the EU.
Sharks, predators of the seas, are today the prey of man. No less than 167 species are threatened with extinction. Sharks are captured for their fins. They are known for their virtues in traditional medicines.
Finning is the practice of capturing sharks, cutting off their fins and releasing them alive into the sea. Once released, the sharks suffocate and bleed to death. This practice is banned since the regulation: Fins Naturally Attached » ((UE) no 605/2013 of the European Parliament and Council).
Thus, in European Union, the finning trade is prohibited. The sharks must therefore be transported whole and not just released mutilated into the sea. However European vessels can still catch and sell them to foreign markets. Europe is one of the largest exporters of shark fins to Asia with around 3 500 tons of fins exported by years. A decision is expected by July 2023.