|Germany has advanced the shark conservation debate on a global scale through groundbreaking, persistent efforts to list spiny dogfish (‘spurdog’) and porbeagle sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Such action reflects a desire to act as a responsible shark consumer.
The smoked belly flaps of spurdog (known as 'Schillerlocken') are particularly popular in German fish markets and beer gardens.
|Germany’s ‘shark’ catches from European waters over the last 20 years have fluctuated, but have consisted mostly of dogfish, skates, and rays, while including some deepwater shark species and porbeagle.
Landings fell dramatically in 2006 and have since comprised mostly skates and rays. In recent years, the country’s shark imports (dogfish as well as products from larger sharks) have been by five to ten times higher than landings.
Germany’s imports and exports of shark products have been declining since about 1990.
Two German MEPs serve on the Parliament’s Fisheries Committee; Germany is one of four EU Member States with 29 votes in the EU Fisheries Council, and therefore has considerable influence in this important decision making body.
Germany was one of the few EU Member States that took advantage of a derogation in the EU finning regulation to allow fishermen to remove shark fins at sea through special fishing permits.
Germany stopped issuing these permits in 2008 and, therefore, now requires that all vessels land sharks with their fins still attached.
At the March 2012 EU Fisheries Council, Germany supported the Commission’s proposal to require all sharks to be landed with fins attached.
|Germany has no special national protections for sharks and rays beyond measures that implement EU and international policies for these species.
||Read more about Shark Alliance members in Germany on our members' pages.
|Concerned citizens, particularly those of Germany, can help by expressing to German officials support for, among other measures:
- continued complete closure of EU porbeagle, spurdog, and deepwater shark fisheries
- vigilance in the effort to list spurdog and porbeagle under CITES
- immediate national protections for endangered shark and ray species, and
- recording of shark and ray landings and trade by species and product
- active promotion for an EU-wide ban on at-sea shark fin removal.