Shark Fins in Europe – summary report

  • 3rd November 2010
  • by thedconceptadmin
  • finning, sharks,
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European Elasmobranch AssociationThis report summarises the expert study on EU shark fin catching, processing and trade practices, and their global significance. It was undertaken to contribute to the debate on strengthening the EU Finning Regulation.

Sharks are captured worldwide in targeted fisheries for their meat, fins, liver and oil, and are an important by-product of many “mixed” fisheries. Sharks are also increasingly the target of pelagic fisheries (using mainly longline gear), which often capture as many or more sharks than they do bony fish. Shark fisheries are continuing largely unchecked in most of the world’s oceans, as relatively few limits on shark catch have been adopted by the European Union (EU), other fishing States, and regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs). Shark fisheries data collection is also sorely lacking worldwide.

Shark fins are the critical ingredient for shark fin soup, a highly priced, traditional, celebratory, Chinese dish. Demand for shark fins has risen sharply since the 1980s; shark fins are now among the world’s most valuable fisheries products. prices for processed fins in hong kong range from 90 to 300 Euros per kilogram; in contrast, shark meat retails in European markets for 1 to 7 Euro per kg. The Eu is one of the world’s largest suppliers of shark fins to East asia, as several of its member States rank among the world’s top 20 countries for shark catch.

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