shark fins trade

Shark finning – Stop the trade

A large number of individuals from all across Europe have banded together to urge that the European Union prohibit the trade in shark fins. In order to improve the protection of these critically endangered but vital species.

Such trade and hunting practice is built on the brutal and immoral cutting off shark fins and the animal being thrown back into the water while still alive. Then the animal drowns or bleeds out. Because of the great financial value of fins and their usage in traditional Asian soup, this horrific practice of mutilating living creatures continues. Europe is a key actor in global financial commerce.

Sharks are critical to sustaining a healthy ocean ecosystem

Every year, between 63 and 273 million sharks are killed, and several species across the world are now increasingly endangered. Sharks are globally hunted for flesh and liver oil, but shark fin dealers pose the greatest harm. Shark populations are rapidly declining across the world, which has significant repercussions since many sharks are “apex predators,” meaning they are at the top of the food chain and play an important role in maintaining healthy and productive marine ecosystems. Research done in the Atlantic shows that the implications of the absence of such an apex are not merely hypothetical. According to research, by the time 11 shark species reached critical numbers, 12 of the 14 species on which they fed had expanded to the point that they had wiped out the species below them in the food chain. Of course, farther down that cycle, everything leads to ocean devastation of many species. Ecosystems are strong, yet bio-equilibrium is a delicate mechanism.

EU laws must be improved

Many people seek to enhance the EU legal structure by requesting “an end to the trade in fins in the EU, including the import, export, and transit of fins that are not naturally connected to the animal’s body.” If their initiative succeeds, the European Commission may propose a new rule to accomplish this objective. A new regulation like this would go well beyond the current legal framework in the EU. Since 2013, all EU boats have been required to keep the shark’s fins connected to the hull until it is unloaded in the port. After that, the fins may be separated and traded all over the world. It also provides a legal loophole while doing little to preserve sharks from extinction. Despite being a significant improvement over the previous EU legislation, this law still permits fins to be sold throughout Europe in order to meet the high demand for shark fin soup in Asia.

Other countries are ahead of the EU

In June 2019, Canada became the first G7 country to prohibit the import of shark fins, and citizens all around the world are increasingly demanding an end to such inhumane and useless practices. European citizens have the right and responsibility to demonstrate their desire and need for better wildlife protection to important decision-makers. We have no option but to modify our production and consumption habits at a time when the scientific community is frequently issuing alerts owing to the rapid loss of biodiversity and the hazards connected with climate change. It’s time to end the shark fin trade in Europe! This initiative is already supported by 20 environmental NGOs!

European Citizens’ Initiative procedure

The European Citizens’ Initiative must receive at least one million signatures in total and cross the threshold in at least seven Member States to be legitimate. These thresholds correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750. Shark fishing will decrease dramatically if the fin trade is prohibited, as trading the entire shark is considerably more difficult and expensive. This also guarantees that the animal’s entire body is utilized to some level.

If you are our EU reader, fill out the petition at this link to support the abolition of the European Union’s shark fin trade.

It’s important to highlight that this isn’t simply another meaningless petition. This is the official EU voting mechanism, the European Union’s highest civil and potentially legislative instance. In order for the vote to be legal and for them to be unable to vote more than once, they must register with a personal identification number. Separate them and help preserve the sharks and the entire marine ecology by charging them for two minutes.

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