Help ban shark finning in New Zealand
What is shark finning?
Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins while the remainder of the living shark is discarded in the ocean. Sharks returned to the ocean without their fins are often still alive; unable to move effectively, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and die of suffocation or are eaten by other predators.
Shark finning increased since 1997 largely due to the increasing demand for shark fins for shark fin soup and traditional cures, particularly in China and its territories, and as a result of improved fishing technology and market economics. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group say that shark finning is widespread, and that “the rapidly expanding and largely unregulated shark fin trade represents one of the most serious threats to shark populations worldwide”.
Some countries have banned this practice and require the whole shark to be brought back to port before removing the fins.
Shark finning in New Zealand
Shocking and cruel shark finning at sea is still legal where you’d least expect it: New Zealand. Thankfully, key ministers have finally announced plans to overhaul these laws and potentially put a total ban in place. International public pressure is crucial to making it happen.
In New Zealand it is still legal to kill a shark just for its fins and dump its body back into the ocean. This is a wasteful and destructive practice, the very opposite of sustainable fishing.
Beyond New Zealand waters shark finning is banned throughout much of the Pacific and many small Pacific Island countries have gone so far as to designate their entire waters as shark sanctuaries. New Zealand is letting down regional and international conservation efforts to protect sharks by allowing shark finning to continue in our waters, and by refusing to sign up to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species agreement on sharks.
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
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How you can help
You can join the movement to help ban shark finning in New Zealand by signing the petition which will be brought to the attention of the Fisheries Management, Ministry for Primary Industries.