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New Report Identifies Loopholes in European Union Shark Finning Regulations
By Joe Tepper, December 10, 2010 @ 10:15 PM (EST)
Source: BBC

Shark finning -the gruesome practice of cutting off sharks' fins and throwing the live animal overboard to drown- has been banned by the European Union since 2003. So, this means no more shark finning in Europe? Apparently not.

A new report titled “Shark Fins in Europe: Implications for reforming the EU finning ban,” has identified the loopholes of existing shark conservation laws as a result of existing "special finning permits" granted to fishing vessels  from their national governments.

According to this exception, the weight of the fins collected must not exceed 5% of the shark's weight from which it was cut. However, as the new study points out, many species have fins that weigh slightly less than this 5% standard, allowing the fishermen with an this special permit to fin sharks without notice. Some may say that this loophole is just arguing small differences in percentages and numbers; the 20% of sharks classified under the threatened species list wouldn't say so.

The BBC article detailing the “Shark Fins in Europe: Implications for reforming the EU finning ban” report can be read in full here.





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