The burgeoning international trade in shark fins is leading to immense population declines in shark populations worldwide. This demand for fins continues to rise and markets for shark meat are developing in the face of a complete lack of international catch limits for sharks.
Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) are responsible for the management of fisheries that are active on the high-seas, beyond the bounds of national jurisdictions. Some of these have implemented bans on shark finning (the practice of cutting off a shark's fins and discarding the body at sea). One such ban is in place in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
The IOTC is currently meeting in Bali, where discussions on measures to enforce the finning ban are now taking place. While various measures are being floated by delegates from different countries, the only proven and effective way to adequately enforce the ban on shark finning is to ensure that all sharks are landed at port with their fins naturally attached.
HSI has therefore joined forces with 70 other shark conservation groups to push for the IOTC to adopt a fins-attached policy.
the letter to the IOTC here.