It is time that we regard Shark Fin in the same way that we regard Rhino horn, Ivory, Tiger penis and Gorilla hands.
Globally shark populations are being decimated with the appetite for shark fin soup and the false belief that shark fin is helpful in combating disease in certain parts of the world.
The EU recently tightened restrictions on EU fisheries effectively closing a loophole on finning within the EU. This was a welcome and commendable action that is of benefit to sharks within EU waters, however further action can improve the EU stance on shark protection and help make the EU fin free.
By introducing a ban on the commercial sale of shark fin products, the EU will strengthen its message to the world that the practise of shark finning is abhorrent and is critically damaging shark populations around the world.
By implementing this change within the EU, pressure can therefore be brought internationally to further protect sharks around the world and make the EU a world leader in shark protection and conservation.
This is not just an animal rights issue, this is about participating in preventing sharks disappearing forever. It is difficult enough to protect critically endangered wildlife on land, it is far more difficult in the vast unregulated oceans of the world.
Shark fin soup, the number 1 shark killer, where the fin adds only texture to a dish flavoured by chicken. Fin medicines scientifically proven to have no medical benefit. We must back up the new fishery regulations on shark finning with new trade regulations and declare the EU a fin free zone to the world.
We therefore respectfully request that the EU commission considers and proposes a ban on the sale of shark fin products within its territories for a fin free EU.
We can be proud with our fishery regulations here in the EU on shark finning.
However, shark fin products are still legally available to purchase within the EU from restaurants and traditional medicine outlets and also in fish oil supplements.
We firmly believe that it is now time that shark fin is regarded legally in a similar way to how we regard Rhino horn, Ivory, Tiger penis and other animal products from critically endangered species.
By making it illegal to sell or trade shark fin here in the EU, we can make Europe fin free.
This will be of benefit to shark conservation but will also make the EU a world leader in shark conservation and an example for the world to follow.
Already several Asian airlines have declared they will no longer transport shark fins. Similarly, Brunei has introduced and is enforcing a ban on the landing, trade and importation of shark fin.
CITES, the Convention on International trade of Endangered Species recently listed more shark species as vulnerable, endangered or threatened.
To begin reversing this trend the governments of the world must move towards becoming fin free, in fisheries, trade and commercial sales.
We respectfully request that the EU commission considers and proposes new legislation ending the sale and trade of shark fin products and makes the EU a shark fin free trading zone.