The date today is 09-02-09

Shark fin soup

Feb 6th, 2009 | By ssacn | Category: SSACN Announcements

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in Asia and can retail for anything between 1,000 and 10,000 dollars per kilogram in China. A third of all the fins exported to Hong Kong, the world’s biggest importer, come from Europe. Shark meat is used to prepare “Schillerlocken” in Germany, “Caldeirada” stew in Portugal and “Rock” in British fish-and-chip shops.

EU fleets fish about 100,000 tonnes of shark each year, about an eighth of the world’s total catches and most of the European fins which arrive in Asia are fished by Spanish, French, British, Italian and Portuguese fleets.

Limits on the amounts of catches are already in place, and “finning” - the practice of removing the fins and discarding the rest of the shark at sea - is illegal in the EU; but as always, slack controls mean that about a third of the 180 species found in Europe are now threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This is definitely the case in Scotland where the stocks of all sharks are seriously threatened.

Sharks, skates and rays are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they are slow to reach sexual maturity, have long gestation periods and a low fertility rate. This means that when stocks collapse it will take many decades for them to recover - if indeed they can recover at all.

Related posts:

  1. Supporting Shark Conservation - Ecuador
  2. European Shark Week
  3. US cut shark quotas
  4. EU Shark discussions - Struan Stevenson MSP
  5. Step Forward for International Shark Conservation

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