Commissioner Damanaki welcomes Council move on shark finning
At the margin of the Council meeting, Commissioner Damanaki said "It is important that we close the loopholes in EU legislation: landing sharks with their fins attached, as we proposed in November, would ease control and help us eradicating shark finning. I am glad to see that the EU Council agrees with this approach and I very much hope that the European Parliament will do the same, so that new rules can swiftly become reality."
The controversial practice of shark finning (whereby the fins are removed from sharks, with the remainder of the shark being discarded at sea) has been forbidden on EU fishing vessels since 2003. However, a derogation still persists allowing with special fishing permits the processing on board, whereby shark fins can be removed from the carcasses (landing of fins and the remainder of the shark together or separatly). The Commission proposal aims to suppress this derogation which would mean sharks can only be landed with their fins attached.