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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Government seeks views on protecting endangered shark species

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Uncategorized, Weekly stories


A hammerhead shark swimming in the ocean

There is coverage in the Sunday Telegraph of the government’s new call for evidence on the shark fin trade.

The four week long call for evidence will provide an insight into the role of this trade on the demand for shark products and help the government to ensure appropriate protections are in place to protect marine wildlife.

Evidence gathered will help the government better understand the scale of the shark fin trade in the UK and the conservation, economic, social and cultural impacts of potential further restrictions such as banning the import and export of detached shark fins.

Sharks are threatened by overfishing and wild populations of shark, skates and ray species have declined rapidly in recent years. Following demand for shark products, species including the Mako shark are endangered.

International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

Shark finning involves slicing the fins off living sharks that are then tossed back into the sea to die painful deaths. It is an extraordinarily barbaric practice, and has been banned in the UK for nearly 20 years. But the UK still imports shark fin products and therefore may still be inadvertently contributing to the practice.

At the end of the Transition Period and as a fully independent nation, we will have far more freedom to introduce measures to protect endangered species – on land and in the ocean. So we have launched this call for evidence to identify the best options to protect these incredible animals and to continue leading the way on shark conservation.

The UK is a global leader in marine conservation and has already set up a ‘Blue Belt’ of protected waters nearly twice the size of England including 41 Marine Conservation Zones and launched  a Global Ocean Alliance of countries that work will together to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 (30by30).

You can respond to the government’s call for evidence here

Follow Defra on Twitter, and sign up for email alerts here.


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  1. Comment by Roger Stevens posted on

    Well, I'm sure Greenpeace have evidence and the resources to carry out further investigations about this abhorrently cruel farming which is worse than factory farming -- and that is also abhorrent to more and more people.

  2. Comment by John Baxter posted on

    Shut down imports of shark fins and any other shark by produce , improve inspections of fishing vessels operating in protected waters and prosecute those cutting fins off sharks.......even if the is a connection to politicians.
    Apply all of the above to the so-called Japanese research vessels studying whales......they should know everything by now or they are slow learners......or the world audience is thick and tongueless.
    Get a grip of the shark pirates or they will continue to prosper like the poachers in Africa, the Japanese Whalers or the Brazilian Burners,.....or pay into a global fund that enforces their demise.......but don t be hesitant....they cannot wait any longer!.