Today, the European Commission has published its Communication in response to the citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Stop Finning — Stop the trade’. The campaign aims to end international trade of loose shark. In response to the campaign, the Commission will launch an impact assessment by the end of the year to measure the effectiveness and contribution of EU rules against finning. The Commission will aim to better enforce the EU’s already strong traceability measures and to improve data relating to imports and exports of shark products. Finally, the Commission will aim at enhancing the role of the EU in the global fight against shark finning. Europêche believes that the current framework in Europe guarantees that all shark catches are legal and sustainable. Even if the policy is functioning well, there is always room for improvement and for that reason the sector welcomes the decision to assess the situation in depth before taking any legislative measure.
• Blue sharks are sustainably managed by international fisheries management bodies (RFMOs) and protected thanks to strong fins-attached policies and catch documentation schemes.
• Blue sharks harvested by Europeans are in healthy conditions across the oceans and are not subject to illegal trade.
Europêche represented the European fishing fleet at the 26th ordinary meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which ended on Monday 25 November in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.