NEXT STEPS Once we’ve submitted our initiative (most likely mid January 2023), the examination of our initiative starts:
Within 1 month
We’ll meet with representatives of the Commission so we can explain the issues raised in our initiative in detail.
Within 3 months
We’ll have the opportunity to present our initiative at a public hearing at the European Parliament. Parliament may also hold a debate in a full (plenary) session, which could lead to it adopting a resolution related to our issue.
Within 6 months
The Commission will spell out what action it will propose in response to our initiative (if any), and its reasons for taking (or not taking) action. This response will be in the form of a communication formally adopted by the Commissioners and published in all official EU languages.
STOP FINNING – STOP THE TRADE The trading of shark fins from Europe must be stopped!
Sharks are essential for the marine ecosystem and climate protection!
Sharks ensure the health of the ocean-based tourism, fisheries and food security.
The oxygen in every second breath we take is produced by the oceans. The extinction of sharks would have a tremendous impact on the marine ecosystem, which in turn would negatively affect the climate and CO2 pollution in the atmosphere.
Protecting resilient biodiversity and ecosystems and ensuring the sustainability of our blue economy and fisheries sector are high priorities of the EU Green Deal.
Hunting sharks for their fins can only end with a trade ban for loose fins!
More than 100.000.000 sharks are killed every year, mainly for their fins.
167 shark species are threatened with extinction. The number of sharks in the high seas has declined by more than 70 % in the last 50 years.
The high market value of shark fins is the only reason to fish sharks at unsustainable rates and to continue the cruel practice of ‘finning’, whether it’s legal or not.
The EU is still part of the problem!
Currently, the Member States Spain, Portugal and France are among the Top 15 shark-fishing nations of the world and are often even subsidised by the EU.
Although the EU has conservation obligations under CITES and CMS, threatened/protected shark species are entering the market due to current inadequate legislation.
A legal market for shark fins creates a loophole for illegal fins, as origin and species are difficult to trace. Loose shark fins can only be identified with complex and expensive DNA tests
The current “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation states that the fins shall not be removed from the shark body before landing. This still allows loose fins to be traded and exported. To close this loophole, regulations must be extended to the export, import and transit of sharks and rays!
With the change of the regulation the EU fulfills its conservation obligations, secures a sustainable economy as well as food security and becomes part of the growing community of States, which take these responsibilities seriously.