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.


  1. John Gorman says:

    It’s sad that it has taken so long for the NZ government to act – and yes, it’s a step forward. The idea of requiring fishing vessels to bring the entire animal back to port is a step in the right direction, as is the legislating of complete use of the animal. (I believe that may be a first). All this said – what steps is the NZ government taking to police and enforce the new legislation? That always seems to be the issue – globally. is there a moratorium against fishing of any kind as it relates to pelagic, migratory species such as great whites, hammerheads, blues, makos, threshers, tigers, oceanics, etc? The numbers of these species are declining globally at alarming rates and it would be good to see this government take a macro/global stance as well as a local one.

  2. This is amazing news!!! I wish that someone would hurry up and make sharks illegal to kill, because they are very important to the ocean and the ocean is important to the world!!!

  3. Nigel Goodman says:

    Spot on John – how the hell will this be policed ! Just can shark fishing

  4. Paul Maddison says:

    Great news, thank you N.Z for doing the right thing the future of the ocean and of course the shark

  5. You got the point my friend it must be a global move!

  6. Steve Tyler says:

    This is an important decision that will favor tourism to NZ, whereas many people will not visit those countries that do not take wildlife and environmental protections seriously.

  7. John Gorman says:

    Here’s a thought from left field. It’s interesting to me that we have some of the world’s great rugby giants (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) playing international Sevens tournaments in countries like the UAE which is the 4th largest shark fin supplier in the world. Sometimes the voices of the general public get drowned out by lobbying power of big business – hence my earlier comment about the “policing” of this new legislation [I have my doubts about the effectiveness of that]. Wouldn’t it be cool if the voice of several sporting nations could be heard around the world – in protest of this practice? What’s the worst that would happen? They move the Dubai Sevens Tournament to another country and the UAE loses some tourism and sports licensing revenues. The point: if your country is going to take a stance against this issue – then take a global stance – it will draw more attention to your conservation efforts.

  8. world wide ban would be bloody fantastic but with certain arrogant countries that dont give a flying toss about animal cruelty and rights, sadly this is but a dream.

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