Right now it’s LEGAL for anyone travelling to Europe to bring 20kg of dried shark fins as part of their personal import allowance. It’s enough to make 705 bowls of shark fin soup. For the survival of sharks the law must change.
Bite-Back, the UK shark and marine conservation charity, believes that there’s a massive disparity between the current legislation and the scientific evidence that recently prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature to declare that 25% of all shark species are threatened with extinction.
Their NO FIN TO DECLARE petition calls on the EU to ban the personal importation of ALL shark fins to Europe.
Their FIVE reasons why the EU must take notice:
- Shark fins are the biggest incentive for fishermen to hunt more than 70 million sharks every year. Any law that permits the unregulated movement of 20kg of shark fins per person is turning a blind eye to the chronic overfishing of sharks.
- There’s no other foodstuff on the list of personal import items that compares in terms of volume or value. No one can argue that 20kg is an appropriate limit for personal consumption.
- A 20kg cache of shark fins can be worth as much as €4,900 on the European black market. The law has created a legal loophole for the unregulated trade in shark fins.
- Customs officials aren’t qualified to know whether a suitcase of shark fins contains fins from CITES listed sharks such as the great white, hammerhead and oceanic whitetip.
- For good reason whale and dolphin meat along with sea horses and sea cucumbers are banned items for personal import. The rationale for banning these marine items must apply to shark fins too.
You don’t need to be a shark fan to know that this legislation is wrong.