SAVE OUR SHARKS!
I fully support the provisions of the Shark Fins Act, a Bill brought forward by Christine Rees MP and recently passed in the House of Commons, which is a very important step for shark conservation.
This Bill prohibits the import and export of shark fins and to make provision relating to the removal of fins from sharks.
Shark finning is a cruel and barbaric practice whereby fins are removed from sharks, after which the shark is discarded back into the ocean and left to die a slow and painful death. Sharks are hunted in this way for their fins which are particularly sought after for traditional Chinese medicine as well as for shark fin soup which is considered a delicacy in Asia.
Sharks are one of the most important species in the world protecting our oceans. However, millions of sharks are being killed each year from various human related activities and impacts.
I was delighted to meet with representatives from Shark Guardian which campaigns and works in collaboration with other conservation organisations to help save our sharks and our oceans. The Shark Guardian shark conservation department is responsible for conducting:
Global shark and marine conservation campaigns
Leading or supporting shark and marine conservation petitions
Enforcing conservation through educational programs and scientific research
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas, the open-ocean beyond national borders. I also met with representatives from The Shark Trust and learned more about how our shared ocean, sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
As apex predators, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serving as an indicator for ocean health. They help remove the weak and the sick as well as keeping the balance with competitors, helping to ensure species diversity.