Shark Coalition

International Shark Finning Regulations

 

National laws, multi-lateral agreements, regional and global recommendations as of April 8th 2010

 

RFMOs

Date

Requirement

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

2004

The ICCAT finning ban requires full utilisation (defined as retention by thefishing vessel of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts and skins, to the point of first landing) of entire shark catches. Fins should not total more than 5% of the weight of the sharks onboard.
General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean (GFCM)

2005

Same as ICCAT. Requires full utilisation (defined as retention by thefishing vessel of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts and skins, to the point of first landing) of entire shark catches. Fins should not total more than 5% of the weight of the sharks onboard.
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)

2005

Same as ICCAT – full utilisation (defined as retention by the fishing vessel of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts and skins, to the point of firstlanding) of entire shark catches. Fins should not total more than 5% of theweight of sharks onboard.
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)

2005

Same as ICCAT – full utilisation (defined as retention by the fishing vessel of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts and skins, to the point of first landing) of entire shark catches. Fins should not total more than 5% of the weight of sharks onboard.
Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (SEAFO)

2006

Same as ICCAT – full utilisation (defined as retention by the fishing vessel of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts and skins, to the point of first landing) of entire shark catches. Fins should not total more than 5% of the weight of sharks onboard.
North Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO)

2005

Similar to ICCAT and IATTC.
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)

2008

Full utilisation (retention of all parts of the shark excepting head, guts, and skins), to the first point of landing or transshipment of retained sharks. Fins should make up no more than 5% of the weight of sharks onboard. Fins may be landed and transhipped separately.
Commission for the Conservation of Antartic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

2006

Directed fishing on shark species in the Convention Area, for purposes other than scientific research, is prohibited. Incidental catch of sharks taken in other fisheries should be released alive as far as possible.
North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)

2007

Full utilisation (all parts of the sharks except head and guts to the point  of first landing) of entire shark catches required. Shark fins should not total more than 5% of the weight of sharks. Fins may be landed and transhipped separately from other shark parts.

States

Date

Law

Australia

Various

 States and Territories govern their own waters, which extend to three nautical miles offshore. Central government regulates  ‘Commonwealth’ (Federal) waters, from three to 200 nautical miles offshore. Most States and Territories ban finning, and some require that sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached. 

Brazil

1998

Prohibits landing of shark fins without the corresponding carcasses. The total weight of fins shall not exceed 5% of the total weight of carcasses, all carcasses and fins must be unloaded and weighed and the weights reported to the authorities.

Canada

1994

Finning in Canadian waters and by any Canadian licensed vessel fishing outside Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is prohibited. When landed, the fins must not weigh more than 5% of the dressed weight of the shark.

Cap Verde

2005

Shark finning is prohibited throughout the EEZ.

Colombia

2007

All sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached to their bodies.

Costa Rica

2001- 2006

Regulation AJDIP/47-2001 required fins to be landed attached to shark carcasses. This was replaced by AJDIP/415-2003, permitting fins to be landed separately from carcasses, but the “fins-attached”  requirement was reinstated in 2006.

Ecuador

2004

Directed fishing for sharks is banned in all Ecuadorian waters, but sharks caught in “continental” (i.e. not Galapagos) fisheries may be landed if bycaught.  Finning is not permitted in any fishery. A previous ban on trade in shark fins was lifted in 2007.

El Salvador

2006

Shark finning is prohibited. Sharks must be landed with at least 25% of each fin still attached in the natural way. The sale or export of fins is prohibited (be they fresh, frozen or dried) without the corresponding body.

Egypt

?

Shark fishing is prohibited throughout Egyptian Red Sea territorial waters to 12 miles from the shore.

England and Wales

2009

All sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached.

European Union

2009

Prohibits finning in EU waters and by EU vessels worldwide. Requires sharks to be landed with fins naturally attached, unless a Special Permit has been issued to allow onboard removal of fins.

Israel

1980

All elasmobranchs are protected in Israeli waters

Mexico

2007

Shark finning is prohibited. Shark fins must not be landed unless the bodies are on board the vessel.

Namibia

2000

The Act generally prohibits discards of harvested or bycaught marine resources.Namibia’s National Shark Plan, adopted in 2003, recommends the formulationof legislation under the Marine Resources Act to prohibit finning of any sharkspecies.

Nicaragua

2004

Prohibits vessels from having fins on board or from landing land fins that weigh more than 5% of the total weight of the sharks. Those who wish to export fins must first prove that the meat has been sold.

Oman

?

Sharks must be landed, transported, sold or disposed of whole. It is strictly forbidden to throw away any shark part or shark waste in the sea or the shores of the Sultanate of Oman. It is also prohibited to land shark fins separated from the body.

Palau

2009

All shark fishing is prohibited in Palau

Panama

2006

Shark finning is prohibited in all Panamanian waters.  Industrial fishers must land sharks with fins attached naturally. Artisanal fishers may land the fins separately but the weight ratio must be no more than 5% fins to whole weight of sharks.

Seychelles

2006

Shark finning is prohibited.

South Africa

1998

Sharks caught in South African waters must be landed, transported, sold or disposed of whole (they can be headed and gutted). However, fins from sharks caught in international waters may be landed in South Africa with fins detached from carcasses.

Spain

 

Removal of fins and discarding of the carcass at sea is prohibited.

United States

Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

2008

All sharks must be landed with their fins fully or partially attached in the natural way in federal waters in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Pacific

As at April 2010

 A new bill requiring fins to remain attached to carcasses had been passed by the House, but the Senate decision on this fins-attached law is still pending.

Multi-lateral agreements

Date

                                            Recommendation/Resolution

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

1999

The International Plan of Action for sharks calls on all States to minimise waste and discards, such as through requiring the retention of sharks from which fins are removed.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

2007

Calls on all States to consider requiring sharks to be landed with their fins naturally attached.
IUCN – World Conservation Union

2008

 Calls on States with fisheries that capture sharks, whether in directed fishery activities or as accidental by-catch of other fisheries, to require at the point of first landing that sharks be landed only if their fins are naturally attached to their bodies, though allowing for partial detachment of fins to permit efficient storage and species identification. 

 

 

 

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