§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with EU Ministers about the killing of sharks; what proposals there are to change EU policy; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
[holding answer 7 July 2003]: A regulation restricting the practice of shark finning has been adopted at a recent Council of Ministers meeting. We were able to get the text of the measure before the council strengthened to include additional control clauses and a commitment to a complete review of the regulation.
We have also been pressing the European Commission to bring forward action to fulfil the EU's commitment to implement the UN Food and Agriculture Organisations 1999 International Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks; I am pleased to report that work will begin shortly on the development and implementation of a Community 923W Plan of Action. This work will also contribute to the review of the shark finning regulation. I will be working for agreement on a comprehensive management plan which will provide effective protection for sharks.