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Office of the Federal Minister for the Environment
Hon Sussan Ley MP
Ph: (02) 6277 7920
Thank you for taking my call, my name is ______. I’d like to leave a message for the Minister about improving anti-shark finning laws in the WA shark fishery.
Australia’s anti-finning rules are inconsistent and well-behind global standards. WA is the only jurisdiction left in Australia that has not implemented a “fins naturally attached” policy in any of it’s fisheries that harvest sharks.
I ask that you implement a “fins naturally attached” rule as part of any accreditation given to the fishery. Making sure sharks have their fins is a practical step that stamps out illegal finning and helps prevent endangered sharks entering the market.
It is the most immediate and practical thing you can do to guarantee Australians that our sharks are spared from the illegal act of live-finning, and that our fisheries are operating at world-best practice.
Thank you for taking my call.
Australia’s anti-finning laws are weak and inconsistent and shark finning Australia-wide should be illegal. Western Australia is the only place in Australia that still has a loophole which allows illegal shark finning to happen in all of its fisheries that harvest shark. Live shark finning is the term used for slicing fins off from living sharks, and dumping their bodies overboard. The practice of live finning at sea may still be happening because fishers in Western Australia are currently not required by law to bring the entire shark back to land in one piece with its fins on.
How can we close the loophole?
A ‘fins naturally attached’ law would close this loophole because fishers would have to bring the sharks back in one piece with their fins on. Australia is lagging behind the United States, the European Union and India – they all have rules in place to make sure sharks are brought back in one piece with their fins attached. A ‘fins naturally attached’ law is recognised best practice and the very least we can do for these species that are important for our oceans’ health. It’s the first, immediate step we can take towards the ultimate goal of banning the trade in shark fins.