In 2006, the European Parliament called to strengthen the EU ban on shark finning, the cruel and wasteful practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea. Every year, tens of millions of sharks are killed for the high value of their fins, highly desired by the Asian market and used in shark fin soup.
The current EU regulation that bans finning includes a derogation under which permitted fishermen can remove shark fins on board and then land them separately from shark bodies. Compliance is monitored with a complicated and lenient fin-to carcass weight ratio limit that leaves room for undetected finning.
Following a European Parliament Resolution in 2010 calling for a ban on cutting shark fins at sea, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal to eliminate any special permit to cut off fins at sea, authorizing only the landing of sharks with fins attached to the body. Prohibiting at-sea removal of shark fins and thereby requiring that all sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached is the simplest and most reliable method , already successfully used in several countries around the world and it is recommended by most scientist and experts. This measure would also improve controls and data collection of shark populations, one of the most endangered species of the oceans due to overfishing and the international market for valuable fins.
The Commission proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark finning has been supported by the European Council and the ENVI Committee. It has however been opposed by Spain and Portugal, the only EU Members states still issuing these special permits and EU’s largest shark fishing fleet.
After six years of debate, during the next November Plenary session (Nov. 22nd) ,all Italian Members of European Parliament will vote on this issue and they will have the opportunity to close loopholes in the EU ban on shark finning. The Italian Government has already expressed its support for strengthening the EU finning ban by requiring that all sharks to be landed with their fins attached.
We therefore ask all Italian MEPs to strongly support the prohibition of the removal of shark fins at sea, no exceptions!
Below is a list of Italian celebrities who support the call to action for an EU ban on removing shark fins at sea, with no exceptions.