- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On the 16 November, I sat on the Bill committee to discuss the Shark Fins Bill introduced by Christina Rees MP:
The Bill seeks to advance the UK’s standards for the long-term conservation of sharks. Sharks play a crucial role in the marine system and are in need of protection from cruel practices that are forcing sharks close to extinction. The annual number of sharks killed globally by the practice is estimated to be around 97 million. The introduction of the Bill follows a campaign to ban the trade in fins in the UK. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a call for evidence in December 2020 to gather evidence on the extent of trade in shark fins in the UK and the impact of stricter trade measures. This campaign included a parliamentary e-petition which received over 100,000 signatures and was debated in Parliament in June 2021.
The Bill bans imports and exports of detached shark fins or parts of shark fins, or things containing them. Only fins naturally attached to the body of the shark can be imported or exported. The UK has shown leadership in marine conservation and called for stronger international action to protect sharks against unsustainable fishing practices. This Bill will be a significant step in helping to restore balance in the ocean.
The Bill does not ban the sale or consumption of shark fins in the UK, but the measure provides assurance that the whole shark has been traded rather than fins obtained through inhumane shark finning practices. The next stage is the Report Stage.