Luked by Martin Horwood, Shadow Environment Minister for the Liberal Democrats, MPs are about to get a wake up call regarding the extent of involvement of UK vessels in the global shark fin trade. The UK is one of just five EU Member States that still permit the removal of shark fins at sea and UK vessels land over 80 tonnes of shark fin per year. The Shark Trust is asking the UK government to cease the provision of special fishing permits which allow UK vessels to remove shark fins at sea and to support the rapid implementation of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks.
Mr Horwood commented “In 2003 the Shark Trust was instrumental in securing the EU shark finning ban and has been working ever since to improve this regulation. With the recent launch of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks, the time is right to review ((EC) No:1185/2003); the finning regulation. I am pleased to have an opportunity to bring this important issue to the attention of my fellow Members of Parliament and the wider constituency.”
An Early Day Motion, sponsored by Mr Horwood, Richard Benyon (Shadow Environment Minister for the Conservatives) and Russell Brown (Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway), will bring the UK’s role in the shark fin trade to the attention of Members of Parliament, who will undoubtedly want to add their names to the growing weight of support for positive action by the UK government.
;“The shark fin trade encourages unsustainable mortality and unacceptable levels of waste and it is imperative that the UK government complies with the original intent of the EU shark finning ban and ceases to permit the removal of shark fins at sea” said Ali Hood, Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust.
“The Shark Trust is pleased to support the EDM which highlights the importance of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks, the need to revise the finning legislation and recognises the positive actions that the UK Government has taken to date.”
Removal of shark fins at sea hinders fisheries management and challenges enforcement. By adhering to the original intent of the EU Shark Finning Regulation and ceasing the provision of special fishing permits the UK would be taking a significant step towards championing sharks and securing a sustainable future.
Ali Hood, Director of Conservation, 01752 672020 / 07855 386083