Subject Predicate Object
Government response
government response summary
The Government is opposed to SF. SF is banned in UK waters and we support international controls. We are working to address the importation of shark fins, and to end illegal SF practices globally.
government response details
The UK has a strong track record in marine conservation and places great importance on ensuring that appropriate protection and management is in place for all shark species. The UK Government is strongly opposed to shark finning, the practice of removing the fins of a shark and discarding the body at sea. The UK has already banned the act of shark finning and has enforced a Fins Naturally Attached policy in order to combat illegal finning of sharks in UK and EU waters. This means that shark fins from sharks fished in UK and EU waters can only be retained and utilised provided they are still attached to the shark when landed at port by fishing vessels.Following the end of the Transition period we will explore options consistent with World Trade Organisation rules to address the importation of shark fins from other areas, to support efforts to end illegal shark finning practices globally.The UK Government does not oppose the capture and use of sharks providing catches are shown to be genuinely sustainable; the whole shark is used; and that fins are not removed from sharks while alive. The Government is also exploring a range of other measures to support shark conservation. The greatest conservation benefit for sharks will come through controls directed at the activities of the fishing vessels operating on the high seas rather than just restrictions on the trade itself. This is why the UK continues to press for stronger international controls within the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the associated Sharks MoU.Additional trade controls are in place for certain species of sharks under CITES. These can prohibit the trade in particular species or require trade to be carefully regulated, including through additional assessments of sustainability. Currently there are 46 species of sharks and rays listed under CITES and the UK played a leading role in successfully championing the listing of 18 shark species to appendix II of CITES at the Conference on Parties in August last year.Having left the EU, the UK can champion conservation measures much more forcefully in international fora. This will help improve shark conservation globally through RFMOs and through CITES. In addition, EU law allows individuals travelling to Europe to carry 20kg of dried shark fins for personal consumption. Our departure from the EU allows us to consider options to tighten the personal import allowance and improve the traceability of the shark in fin trade in the UK.Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsThis is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (
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