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Global Finning Map
The map below identifies those nations around the world with shark finning legislation or regulations in place. While a significant number are at the forefront of conservation and sustainable management initiatives for sharks, legislation in many countries is rendered ineffective by loopholes and exemptions – often a result of the considerable level of politics involved in fisheries management.
View Global Management of Shark Finning and Fisheries in a larger map
Please note: This map does not identify regional variations within countries nor assess effectiveness of enforcement measures. All information correct as of August 2011.
Several countries manage exemptions to their finning ban through a fin:carcass ratio. This is a complicated mechanism which is intended to ensure fins and carcasses are landed in proper proportion and may be set as a ratio for live (whole shark) or dressed (beheaded and gutted) weight. The IUCN recommends a dressed weight ratio of 5% which equates to a live weight ratio of 2% - the EU ratio is 5% live weight, providing the loophole through which finning may still occur. Enforcement of ratios is often further complicated by the ability of vessels to land fins and carcasses in separate locations.
Under EU the regulation Member States can issue Special Fishing Permits to their vessels allowing them to remove shark fins at sea in accordance with the fin: carcass ratio. Spain and Portugal are the only Member States who still issue permits. In late 2009 the UK banned the removal of shark fins at sea on all UK vessels worldwide, requiring all sharks to be landed with their fins naturally attached.
➤ Download our Shark Finning Factsheet (pdf).
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