October 13, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

Lochhead supports amendment to ban finning

Cabinet Secretary Lochhead is urging Scottish MEPs to sign up to a European Parliament written declaration to remove current loopholes which make European shark finning legislation amongst the weakest in the world.

Scotland’s decision last year to ban Special Fishing Permits ban and thus prevent fins being removed from sharks by Scottish vessels when at sea created the strongest legislation in the EU, but it does not stop other vessels from undertaking shark finning in Scottish waters if they hold a permit issued by another EU member state.

Mr Lochhead said: "With some shark populations critically endangered we need to take measures to protect sharks in European waters. That’s why I strengthened Scottish legislation earlier this year to ban the barbaric practice of ‘shark finning’ by Scottish vessels.

"It is unpalatable that in European Shark Week, vulnerable sharks can still be targeted for their fins. It is hardly good management of our natural environment to allow a whole range of shark species to be killed and dumped for the sake of one saleable part."

A simple amendment to the EU shark finning legislation – removing article 4 from EC Regulation 1185/2003 – would provide the protection needed as it would ensure that the removal of shark fins on board all EU vessels at sea, and by all vessels within EU waters was prohibited.

There would be no exceptions and all sharks would be required to be landed with their fins naturally attached thus providing better protection for endangered species.

Posted in: Shark Bites
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