Stop Finning – Stop the trade!

What is finning?

Every year, between 63 and 273 million sharks die as a result of human activity.[1] The exact numbers remain speculation, as there is a lack of reliable data and the worldwide number of unreported cases of illegal fishing is extremely high.

Sharks are hunted worldwide, primarily because of their fins. These are eaten especially in the Asian region as shark fin soup. For this supposed delicacy, with a few grams of fins, up to 90€ are required.[2] A lucrative business with huge profit margins at the expense of the sharks!

The fins are often caught in a cruel way by “finning”. Finning means that the sharks’ fins are cut off alive. The animals are then thrown overboard because their meat is almost worthless compared to the fins. Without fins the sharks sink to the seabed where they suffocate, bleed to death or are eaten alive. This business is also served from Europe.

Now, it is time to finally take consistent action in Europe to protect sharks and our oceans! Therefore, we ask you to support this opportunity to rethink legislation in the European Union.

Why are sharks so diverse?

Nowadays, there are more than 530 different shark's species identified worldwide. In every marine habitat, every shark's species has adapted itself and evolved along the time to play the role of the apex predator and the regulator of the quality of all the surrounding marine life.

Why are Marine Protected Areas so important for all of us?

If you have ever dived in a Marine Protected Area (MPA) then you will know the difference they make to biodiversity.
Managing marine environments through a network of no-take-areas (NTAs), as well as management of surrounding areas, is an important step towards conservation.
MPAs are currently the most successful management method for conserving coral reefs, with those that implement NTAs providing the most effective protection by removing human influence as much as possible. They are a method of fishing management designed to benefit all parties, including fishermen. In NTAs, fish are allowed to live longer and grow larger. Fishermen need only to be patient to reap the rewards from highly productive marine ecosystems.
As marine reserves have been put in to place around the world’s coasts the results speak for themselves. The total quantity of commercially exploited fish inside a reserve can quadruple within a few years of protection and local fishers continue to report increased catches outside the reserves as well.
(Evans, Adam; SEI's Marine Environmental Adviser; Dec.2017)

Why do they fish sharks?

Nowadays, shark fishing is based on two large groups of economic activities. From one side, the big long liners and trawlers from the industrial fisheries (see also bycacth).
From other, and in a big number, it is made by artisanal fisheries all around the world. And, in both cases, the number and size of the catches have been decreasing every year.
These two groups of economic actors have different interests, incomes and motivations. But, they both know that they are fishing the last sharks.

Why do we need to know more about sharks?

We need sharks. As top predators, they regulate all the marine life ecosystems.
Sharks are not the cruel, insatiable and ruthless animals some movies pretend us to believe. They play a key role in maintaining ecological balance among all marine life.

Why are sharks so evolved?

It is scientific recognized that the first sharks' species have lived in the ocean much earlier than dinosaurs walked on land. In fact, their oldest fossils date back to more than 400 million years.

Why are sharks so important?

As apex predators on almost every marine ecosystem sharks play an essential role in a marine healthy balance. They chase and they feed on the weakest, on the sick, and also on dead fishes and other marine animals, assuming the role of architects and cleaners of the oceans.

Why can't we live without sharks?

Sharks are in fact like the life insurance of all marine life as we know it today. Without sharks, the entire marine ecosystem collapses. And without life in the oceans, the life on earth will follow down too.

Why are sharks in danger?

Due to overfishing in the recent years, the most part of sharks species has become in danger of extinction. Today, sharks are among the most vulnerable animals on our planet.

Since when are there sharks in the sea?

The largest sharks that have populated the oceans, including the Carcharodon megalodon, a predator with teeth the size of a hand (photo RTVE EFE), dominated the primitive seas around 4.8 million years ago.
But the oldest teeth fossils, from the first known shark species in the ocean, date back between 400 and 450 million years ago. This is why sharks can be considered of the most developed and evolved life species we can observe today on Earth.

How can sharks contribute to developing local economies?

All around the world sharks support more and more sustainable dive and ecotourism industries. Diving with many sharks species it's nowadays a very safe and exciting activity that a lot a people wish to discover.
All the ocean balance depends on a healthy and rich marine biodiversity. And to preserve this biodiversity we all depend on sharks.