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Written Declaration


Pursuant to Rule 123 of the Rules of Procedure on support for strengthening the European Union ban on shark finning.

Jean-Paul Besset, Chris Davies, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Daciana Octavia Sârbu

Written declaration on support for strengthening the European Union ban on shark finning.

The European Parliament
– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure

A. whereas ‘finning’ is the wasteful practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the carcass at sea, and is driven by high demand for the delicacy shark fin soup,

Blue shark © linda pitkin
Blue Shark © Linda Pitkin
Related Links
*European Shark Week 2010
*European Parliament website
*Enforcing Finning Bans(pdf)
*Closing Loopholes (pdf)
B. whereas finning is contributing to extreme declines in slow-growing shark populations,

C. whereas one-third of European shark species are threatened with extinction,

D. whereas the EU finning ban is the world’s weakest with exemptions to land fins and carcasses separately, and an excessive fin-to-carcass weight ratio,

E. whereas the Commission is considering a range of options for amending the finning ban (Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003),

F. whereas Parliament asked the Commission to close finning ban loopholes in 2006,

G. whereas most scientists and the IUCN recommend that sharks be landed with fins
naturally attached,

H. whereas Costa Rica has championed at the United Nations the ‘fins naturally attached’ method, which is being used in many Central and North American fisheries,

1. Calls on the Commission to deliver a proposal to prohibit the removal of shark fins onboard vessels by the second anniversary of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks (February 2011);

2. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the
signatories, to the Commission.

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