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End cruelty to sharks, says local MEP

October 13, 2010 11:27 AM
Originally published by Liz Lynne

Lib Dem Euro MPs including Liz Lynne want to ban shark finning.

Sharks may have a reputation for causing harm more than being harmed, but a local Lib Dem Euro-MP says measures to protect them need more teeth.

West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne is backing a LibDem call at the European Parliament to ban the practice of 'shark finning' which threatens to kill off some of the ocean's largest predators.

Finning involves slicing off a shark's fins and discarding the rest of the carcass at sea. The practice is driven by high prices paid by Chinese buyers in order to make shark fin soup.

Often the shark is still alive after being finned and faces a lingering and cruel death as recovery from the injury is impossible.

Experts warn that shark numbers have in some case fallen by 90% over the past two decades.

Now Liz Lynne and other Lib Dem MEPs are seeking the support of the European Parliament for a call to ban the practice in EU waters.

A "written declaration" backed by LibDem MEPs and co-sponsored by MEPs from France, Finland and Romania has already been signed by 78 Euro MPs from different parties in the first few days.

Liz Lynne, a long time campaigner to stop animal cruelty, said:

"I do not oppose fishing, but not only is shark finning wasteful, it is unbelievably cruel. Many species of shark are in real danger of extinction but they are being hunted just for their fins to make a soup which is more of a status symbol than anything else.

"It is wrong to allow one of the ocean's most important predators die in agony just so people can show off that they can afford to eat shark fin soup."

If more than 369 MEPs sign the declaration by 20th December, the European Commission will have to look at a proposal to strengthen current laws and end legal loopholes that allow EU fishing fleets to fin sharks.