On Anniversary of EU Shark Plan, shark finning loopholes remain

On Anniversary of EU Shark Plan, shark finning loopholes remain

As fisheries managers and fishing industry representatives from all over the tour the annual Brussels Seafood Show, the Shark Alliance is calling on the European Commission to finally progress toward a commitment made more than a year ago to close loopholes in the EU regulation banning shark “finning” – cutting off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea.

In February 2009, the European Commission released an Action Plan for improving EU shark policies, including the finning ban. At the time, the EU Fisheries Commissioner pledged that the Plan would result in “stronger control measures to ensure that the strict terms of the finning ban are properly respected.”

One year ago, in April 2009, the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers officially endorsed the Commission’s Shark Plan and encouraged the Commission to “pay special attention to the issues of finning” and “give priority to proposing as quickly as possible” amendments to the EU finning regulation.

The Commission’s Directorate-General for Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DG Mare) recently indicated its intention to release a public consultation document on changes to the finning regulation within the coming months, but no precise timetable has been issued.  Moreover, options under consideration for revising the finning regulation include the status quo and problematic methods for matching severed shark fins to corresponding bodies that were not mentioned in the Shark Plan.   Also under consideration is a complete prohibition on removal of shark fins at sea; this option, strongly supported by the Shark Alliance, is by far the most effective strategy for preventing finning and would also facilitate better data on shark catches.

The Shark Alliance is pressing DG Mare to prioritize the task of strengthening the EU shark finning ban, as requested by many EU Member States, scores of NGOs and tens of thousands of EU citizens.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.