Rebecca Taylor, Euro-MP for Yorkshire and the Humber, has joined forces with other MEPs to back plans to ban shark finning. There are many opposed to shark finning, which is the brutal practice of slicing off the fins, before discarding the shark back into the sea. Often the shark is still alive and it is simply left to die. The primary use of shark fins is for soup in Asia.
Under the changes, all EU registered vessels would be required to land any sharks caught alive, crucially with their fins still intact. It is theoretically the case that the act is banned now, but loopholes in the legislation allow fishermen to land more fins than they do sharks.
Commenting on the proposals, Rebecca Taylor said,
“I personally don’t see the need for the use of these magnificent creatures in soup, but while there is the demand for it, I would want to see better protection given to them. It would be a travesty to see a decline in numbers of sharks simply for this delicacy just as it is for them to die a painful, unnecessary death and that is why I voted in favour of tough legislation to ban shark finning.”
There are a number of organisations that are campaigning on this issue. Notably, these include The Shark Alliance, who have welcomed the decision of the European Parliament. This is in contrast to some, not least some MEPs who oppose any attempts to strengthen the protection measures.