Four MEPs launched an initiative calling on the Commission to propose an end to at-sea removal of shark fins. Supported by 423 MEPs, it was adopted as a Resolution of Parliament in December 2010.
The Commission consulted on options for change in late 2010, receiving overwhelming support for this approach, and, in November 2011, proposed amending the regulation to require that all sharks be landed with their ‘fins naturally attached’.
Support to Date
The Commission's proposal received huge support from the public, scientists and MEPS.
In 2011, 165,000 people signed a petition to Make the Push to protect Europe’s sharks.
Leading fisheries scientist Dr Shelley Clarke spoke about the need to land sharks with their fins naturally attached.
EU Fisheries Ministers showed their support for the proposal and only Spain and Portugal opposed.
The European Parliament Environment Committee voted to support the Commission’s proposal.
It’s Working in Practice
Prohibiting at-sea removal of shark fins, and thereby requiring that sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached is widely accepted as the best practice for enforcing finning bans and is being used successfully in fisheries around the world.