Shark Fins Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 20th January 2023.

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Photo of Christina Rees Christina Rees Labour/Co-operative, Neath 1:45 pm, 20th January 2023

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Third time.

I am delighted to present the Bill for its Third Reading, and thank all Members who have supported it so far, as well as all the non-governmental organisations that have advocated for this ban. I am pleased that the Bill has broad support across the House, and I am grateful to the Members who are present for helping to put in place this vital addition to UK legislation to improve global shark conservation.

This small but very important Bill proposes the banning of the import and export of detached shark fins and shark fin products. Sharks are already at great threat from overfishing, driven by demand for shark products. In the United Kingdom, shark finning has been banned for nearly 20 years. It is a highly wasteful practice and a huge barrier to effective fisheries management, and it is so cruel: fins are removed from a live shark, and its finless body is returned to the water where the shark dies as a result of bleeding or suffocation. It is therefore not surprising that a strong opposition to shark finning and trade in detached shark fins was rightly amplified by respondents to a call for evidence run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.