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.