The European Citizens’ Initiative “STOP FINNING – STOP THE TRADE” is supported by more than 100 NGOs, countless partners and volunteers as well as 1,119,996 verified EU citizens who submitted their statement of support.

What is this ECI about? It demands an end to the trade in shark fins from Europe. One of the biggest risks for sharks is being hunted for their fins. This is not just ‘finning’ in the narrow sense of the word, the brutal practice of catching sharks, cutting off their valuable fins and throwing the animals back into the sea, often while they are still alive, to bleed to death or suffocate. Fortunately, this has been banned in the EU since the “Fins Naturally Attached” Regulation (EU) No 605/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which is still in force.

Despite this, 45% of fins imported to Asia come from the EU. Even if sharks are spared the suffering of finning on board ships, there are huge problems associated with the trade in loose fins. The impact of this trade is far greater than you might think – every single species of the marine ecosystem counts. And when one goes missing, chains are set in motion that affect not just the sharks, but all of us.

Therefore, the demand of this ECI is to change the rules on the trade of loose shark fins. The current “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation states that the fins may not be removed from the body of the shark before landing. In order to stop the trade in loose fins, additional legislation is needed to ban the export, import and transit of loose shark fins!