Public Pressure Brings Forward New Zealand Shark Fin Ban

 

Tiger shark photo (Albert Kok)

Tiger shark photo (Albert Kok)


Public pressure has convinced the New Zealand government to put in place a shark finning ban earlier than anticipated. The ban will come into effect on October 1st and will make it is illegal to kill sharks solely for their fins. The law applies to all species of sharks.

New Zealand waters are home to 113 species of shark so the country has a pivotal role to play in the conservation of sharks and the oceans.

Currently the Animal Welfare Act bans the slicing off of shark fins and dumping the still living shark back into the ocean; the new law strengthens shark finning legislation by also making it illegal to dump dead fin-less sharks back into the ocean.

The new law does not make it illegal to kill sharks if their carcasses are fully utilised. It will, however, enable better monitoring of the numbers of sharks that are being killed. More information is available at the New Zealand government’s Ministry for Primary Industries website.

NOAA Proposal Could Negate Hawaii Shark Fin Ban

Recently removed shark fins.

Recently removed shark fins.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the agency responsible for “fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce” – believes that Hawaii’s shark fin ban is incompatible with federal fishing rules. They could turn back the clock on shark conservation by introducing an amendment to the Shark Conservation Act that would negate Hawaii’s ban on the shark fin trade.

Hawaii was the first state to prohibit the shark fin trade back in 2010 and since then several other states including California, Oregon and New York have also abolished the trade. The Pew Charitable Trusts have introduced a petition to support Hawaii’s shark fin ban.

Sign the petition here.

New Zealand Shark Fin Ban: Have Yor Say!

A lot of people are welcoming New Zealand’s proposal to ban shark finning (about time!) – but we want it done faster, and we want it to follow the advice from the Convention on Migratory Species.
You can make a submission by the 8th of December 2013 to NPOA-Sharks@mpi.govt.nz or to:

Fisheries Management
Ministry for Primary Industries
P O Box 2526
Wellington 6140

You want to make a difference? Here’s your chance. Say what you think but be polite.

More info: http://www.nzsharkalliance.org.nz/Action.html

Thanks to the wonderful New Zealand Shark Alliance for this action alert.

India Bans Shark Finning

India has today announced a ban on finning sharks at sea. This will mean that all sharks must be landed with their fins attached. A statement from the Environment Ministry said “The policy prescribes that any possession of shark fins that are not naturally attached to the body of the shark would amount to “hunting” of a schedule I species… Sharks, Rays and Skates (Elasmobranchs) are an important part of the marine ecosystem. They play an important the role in maintenance of the marine ecosystem like tigers and leopards in the forests.”

The ban on finning sharks will allow the ministry to more effectively monitor exactly how many sharks, and of what species, are being caught. The new policy also calls upon state governments to legislate to prevent the hunting of shark species protected under the WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972, and to effectively enforce laws.

As India is the second largest catcher of sharks in the world (according to self-reported data published by the UN) it is hoped that this ban on shark finning will mark a turning point for shark conservation in the region.