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European Shark Week
European Shark Week takes place every year, providing a week of activities for supporters and other shark enthusiasts to find out more about shark conservation and add their voices to campaigns that will help to secure the future health of shark populations in Europe.
This campaign is organised by members of the Shark Alliance, of which the Shark Trust is a founder member and responsible for coordinating all events that take place in the UK.
The Final Push
Shark finning (the wasteful practice of cutting of a shark’s fins and discarding the carcass at sea) was banned in the EU in 2003. But the regulation is one of the weakest in the world, with loopholes that make it possible to fin sharks without detection or punishment.
We've been campaigning to close these loopholes since 2006 and now the European Commission has proposed ending special fishing permits, still granted by Spain and Portugal, that allow fishermen to remove shark fins at sea and bring bodies and fins to port separately. If accepted, this proposal will close the loopholes in the current finning ban, to ensure that all sharks taken by EU vessels are landed with their fins still naturally attached to their bodies, vital for effective shark fisheries management.
Last year during European Shark Week, the Shark Alliance encouraged European citizens to sign a petition encouraging MEPs to support strengthening of the EU finning ban. In February 2012, the Shark Trust presented the 165,000 signatures (with UK Aquariums being at the forefront of the campaign and generating 60,000 from the UK alone) to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon.
The European Parliament Fisheries Committee will vote on the proposal in September, followed by the final vote in plenary which is due to take place this year.
As we are on the brink of a decision, ESW will not be taking place in its previous format. Instead, please add your support to the following website: www.eusharkjourney.org/support-us, by contacting us with a photo and comments, or even a video clip of you demonstrating support, and we will be sure to get it uploaded.
We also have a fantastic timeline of events at: www.eusharkjourney.org that shows our campaign journey so far.
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