The Green Party today welcomed the Government’s announcement that New Zealand will finally ban shark finning.

Today the National Plan of Action – Sharks was released and it contains a proposal to ban shark finning. Shark finning is the practice of killing a shark, cutting off its fins and discarding the carcass back to sea.

“Shark finning is a hugely wasteful practice, and I’m delighted that the Government have finally acknowledged that we can’t allow this activity to continue in our waters,” Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

“The Greens have been calling for a ban on shark finning for over 5 years, and it is great that the Government has finally woken up to the importance of this issue,” said Mr Hughes.

“98 other countries have already banned shark finning, so continuing it was always a big risk to our international brand.

“New Zealanders wouldn’t want an elephant killed for its tusks or a rhino for its horns, and sharks shouldn’t be killed and dumped at sea just for their fins.

“I am urging the Government to implement a ‘fins naturally attached’ policy, which is a simple, cheap and easy to enforce measure requiring vessels to keep the whole shark, rather than discarding carcasses at sea, encouraging full utilisation.

“I would like to congratulate the New Zealand Shark Alliance and all parties in Parliament who came on board with the campaign to persuade National to do the right thing.

“It’s heartening that we now have cross-party consensus to ban shark finning in New Zealand waters.”

The proposal will now be released for a 4 week public consultation period, with a final decision due around Christmas.

“I’m confident that the thousands of Kiwis who have spoken up against shark finning will submit again, and secure this momentous win for sharks,” said Mr Hughes.

“The Minister’s decision today marks a victory in the Greens’ work to save sharks, and I’m happy to support this draft plan.”

11/10/2013 – 16:48

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