Stop Finning – Stop the Trade
The EU Citizens’ Initiative
Central Online Collection System by European Union
The European Citizens’ Initiative is the direct way to propose a concrete legislative change to the European Commission, as opposed to a petition decided by the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament.
As of 2012, EU citizens have had the right to apply directly to the European Commission with a European Citizens’ Initiative in order to propose a concrete legislative amendment.
To do this, a citizens’ committee must first be set up, consisting of at least seven members* from at least seven different EU countries. After successful assessment of the initiative by the European Commission, the Citizens’ Committee has one year to collect signatures.
Stop Finning – Stop the trade!
Every year, between 63 and 273 million sharks die as a result of human activity. 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. 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.
Since 2013, the so-called “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation of the European Union prohibits without exception the storage, transhipment and landing of all shark fins in EU waters and on all EU ships. The fins must remain naturally attached to the carcass when the ship is unloaded in port. The fins can then be separated from the animal and exported to Asia.
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.
1 IUCN Shark Specialist Group, Frequently Asked Questions: Sharks, Rays, and chimaeras; https://www.iucnssg.org/faqs.html.
2 Kimley, Peter A. Peter, The Biology of Sharks and Rays, 2013, S. 451.
“With this initiative we as citizens have the chance to speak out against illegal finning and catching of sharks purely for their fins. The trading of fins from Europe must stop!”
Nils is a shark conservation activist and scuba diving instructor. He has been diving with sharks around the world and experienced both their beauty and meaning for marine ecosystems as well as the threats humans pose to their existence. Nils is working for Sharkproject, an international initiative for shark conservation.
“Sharks are the most underappreciated animals in the oceans, sheer perfection and beauty. The importance of sharks in the eco-system is fundamental in the survival of the oceans; we need to step up our measures to protect sharks.”
Alex is the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global. Through his work for Sea Shepherd he has witnessed first hand the devastating effects of shark fishing on shark populations worldwide. He has also had the privilege to dive with sharks in many remote areas.
Netherlands, Substitute Spokesperson