It wasn’t easy, but we managed to get more than one million signatures for the www.stop-finning-eu.org citizens initiative!
All seemed lost around Christmas, with only one month left until the deadline (31st of January 2022), and nearly half a million of signatures still needed… But then our Shark Loving friends from Germany sprung to action and gathered more than 300.000 (!) signatures in record time, which showed everyone that Victory was within our reach!
On the 17th of January the whole of Europe jumped to meet this challenged and in less than a day we had more than 120.000 signatures in, completing one million on the 18th! It was a momentous occasion, and one we should all be proud of!
Furthermore, the rules of such citizens initiative dictate that at least seven countries must meet their quotas. The first country to do so was France, nearly one year ago, shortly followed by Portugal. Then came Spain, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Belgium, and the seven countries we needed were complete!
But we continued on to Croatia, Malta, Italy, and Ireland. We’re now working hard on getting Czechia, Luxenburg, and Denmark on these last five days we have, merely to increase the number of countries which reach their quotas, because our main goal was met weeks ago!
Overall, it’s been quite a positive period for Shark Conservation, considering that we managed to get Mako Sharks protected in EU waters last November. This reminds us that the public has tremendous power if we use social media not just to share cute kitty-cats but to do some solid conservation work as well. So congrats to us all and let’s keep moving towards higher and more challenging goals!
Objectives of the “Stop Shark Finning EU” Citizens Initiative
Although the removal of fins on board of EU vessels and in EU waters is prohibited and sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached, the EU is among the biggest exporters of fins and a major transit hub for the global fin trade. The EU is a major player in the exploitation of sharks and as inspections at sea are scarce fins are still illegally retained, transshipped, or landed in EU.
We aim to end the trade of fins in the EU including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal’s body.
As finning prevents effective shark conservation measures, we request to extend REGULATION (EU) No 605/2013 also to the trade of fins and therefore ask the commission to develop a new regulation, extending “fins naturally attached” to all trading of sharks and rays in the EU.