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Sharks: Conservation

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Fiona O'Donnell Fiona O'Donnell Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the EU's proposals for a global ban on shark finning.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I warmly welcome the European Commission's robust proposals to tighten controls on shark finning for EU vessels. This represents a major step in the right direction in protecting these vulnerable species. As part of the Commission's consultation on these measures I made the UK's position very clear, and I am delighted that this has been so strongly reflected in the draft proposals. All sharks should be landed with their fins naturally attached to completely outlaw the wasteful practice of shark finning.

The UK is leading the way in Europe on this issue, with shark finning already completely banned on all UK vessels. These proposals will bring the rest of Europe up to UK standards and enable the EU to take a strong stance on this issue internationally.

We will work with the Commission, member states and the European Parliament to ensure that these proposals on shark finning remain strong, and will continue to press for action in international fora to end shark finning universally.

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