Devocean Pictures is supporting the EU citizens‘ initiative “Stop Finning — Stop the Trade” for an EU-wide trade ban on loose shark fins. There is still time for all EU citizens to sign until the 31st of January. Your vote counts: Together for sharks.

Vote for sharks and a healthy ocean here now!

Objectives to protect sharks via „Stop Finning — Stop the Trade“

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.
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.

EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE „Stop finning – Stop the trade“

Every vote counts to „Stop Finning — Stop the Trade“

To be successful, a European citizens‘ initiative has to reach one million statements of support as well as minimum thresholds in at least 7 countries. As the thresholds in the following countries have been reached France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Malta already, every vote from every European country counts. At this moment we stand at 580,899 signatures. Yes, to support this initiative one has to fill in more information than with other online petitions, but it is a safe platform and the impact is worth the effort made by us.

Vote for sharks and a healthy ocean here now!

Get a greater say in the policies that affect your lives. The European Citizens‘ Initiative is a unique way for you to help shape the EU by calling on the European Commission to propose new laws. Once an initiative has reached 1 million signatures, the Commission will decide on what action to take.

European Citizen’s Initiative
Picture of shark and webste "Stop finning - Stop the trade" by #stopfinningeu and Sharkproject
Picture: Sharkproject

Vote for sharks and a healthy ocean here now!

Sharkproject as one of the initiators and main supporters of „Stop Finning — Stop the Trade“ explains more on the background of European Citizen’s Initiatives as well as the possible impacts of a successful initiative on their campaign website. Furthermore, they provide the background information for any interested citizen:

Europe is also involved in this trade, whether by catching and processing sharks themselves or as a central transshipment point for fins from around the world.
Voluntary measures to restrict fishing are not to be expected. On the contrary, demand for the coveted fins is increasing. And where there is demand, there is profit.
The only real solution is appropriate and strict legislation. In 2013, first steps in this direction were taken by the EU. The “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation prohibits the storage, shipment, and landing of loose shark fins on EU vessels and in EU waters. The intention was twofold, to end the cruel practice of shark finning and to achieve a general reduction in European shark landings. 
The reality, however, is different. Although there was a brief decline in catches, targeted marketing of shark meat quickly brought them back to their original levels. As soon as the animals are landed, they can still legally have their fins removed. And as long as this and the trade in loose fins is allowed, Europe will continue to be one of the main transshipment points.
Another problem is the illegal wildlife trade in CITES-listed species. Without genetic analyses, it is almost impossible to determine the actual species from the severed fins. Transporting the entire carcass eliminates this problem.
The aim must be to extend the “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation to ban the complete import, transit and export of loose fins.

Sharkproject: Not without you!

Vote for sharks and a healthy ocean here now!

Together for sharks: They really need our support

We have the privilege and pleasure of diving with sharks regularly on our sweet Caribbean island Sint Eustatius (Go Statia! Why visit the Dutch Caribbean island). To put the matter into perspective for those unfamiliar with the tragic loss of these majestic creatures, we’d like to add some facts and figures put together by the Shark Research Institute:

Beyond the abhorrent cruelty of finning, it’s destroying our oceans—the life support system of our planet—because without the oceanic ecosystem’s apex predator the food chain will collapse.
Shark finning is widespread, and largely unmanaged and unmonitored. The practice has increased over the past decade due to the increasing demand for fins (for shark fin soup), improved fishing technology, and improved market economics. To put the magnitude of shark finning into perspective, it is estimated that this multi-billion dollar industry has profits second only to the illegal drug trade.
ONE HUNDRED MILLION sharks are slaughtered every year. That’s roughly the population of Mexico or Japan. Or the United Kingdom and Australia, combined.
Sharks are caught, their fins are savagely hacked off and most are then thrown back into the ocean while still alive where they die a slow and agonizing death by drowning or by bleeding to death.
Any shark is taken; regardless of age, size or species. The longlines used in shark finning operations are the most significant cause of losses in shark populations worldwide. Longlines are indiscriminate and also kill sea turtles, dolphins and any other species of marine wildlife they catch.

Shark Research Institute: Facts
Picture of shark provided by Sharkproject "Stop finning - Stop the trade"
Picture: Sharkproject

Vote for sharks and a healthy ocean here now!

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