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Proposal to speed up shark finning ban

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Conservation

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

22 May 2014

Proposal to speed up shark finning ban

A proposal to bring forward a ban on all shark finning to 1 October this year has been announced today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“We announced a ban on shark finning earlier this year that would phase in the ban by October 2016, but in response to consultations now believe it is possible to implement a ban in October 2014,” Dr Smith says.

“This is good news and builds on New Zealand’s strong reputation for sustainability and protecting our natural environment.

“Sharks are an important part of the marine ecosystem and we need to ensure the 113 species of shark in our waters survive.”

In January this year it was announced that the first tranche of shark species would be covered by the shark finning ban from 1 October 2014, a second tranche from 1 October 2015, and that only the highly migratory blue sharks would be left until 1 October 2016.

“Instead of taking this staged approach we are now developing an option to ban shark finning in all fisheries from 1 October 2014. We will be consulting with stakeholders on this proposal from 22 May to 22 June,” Mr Guy says.

“Ending shark finning was always going to present practical challenges for the fishing industry, and there was a need to give them time to adjust.

“I’m very pleased that the industry has risen to that challenge, and worked with MPI, DOC and other stakeholders to look at options for a more rapid implementation of the ban.

“It’s important to note that it is already an offence under the Animal Welfare Act to fin a shark and return it to the sea alive. Under the extended ban, it will also become illegal to catch a shark, kill it, remove its fins and dump the carcass at sea,” Mr Guy says.

More information on the consultation process is available at www.mpi.govt.nz

ENDS

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