Stop Finning – Stop the trade

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Series Details ECI (2020) 000001
Publication Date 2020-2023
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European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) asking the European Commission for action to end international trade of loose shark fins.

Further information:

Finning means that the shark's fins are cut off on board fishing vessels and the animal is thrown back to sea while it may still be alive.

Even though the removal of fins on board of vessels from the European Union (EU) and in EU waters is prohibited, and sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached, the EU is still among the biggest exporters of fins and a major transit hub for the global fin trade. EU is a major player in the exploitation of sharks, and as inspections at sea are scarce, fins are still illegally retained, transshipped, or landed in the European Union.

This ECI seeks to end the trade of fins in the EU including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal's body. As finning prevents effective shark conservation measures, citizens request the extension of Regulation (EU) No 605/2013 also to the trade of fins and therefore ask the European Commission to develop a new legislative framework, extending fins naturally attached to all trading of sharks and rays in the EU.

The ECI was registered in January 2020 and submitted to the European Commission in January 2023. The Commission published its response to the ECI on 5 July 2023.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 03/05/2023: 'Stop Finning – Stop the Trade!': European Citizens' Initiative in defence of sharks and rays

EurActiv, 12/05/2023: Spanish MEPs stand against citizens’ petition to ban fin trade

Official Website of the European Citizens' Initiative "Stop Finning – Stop the trade"
European Commission: Press Release, 17/12/2019: European Citizens' Initiative: Commission registers ‘Stop Finning – Stop the trade' initiative
European Commission: Press Release, 05/07/2023: ‘Stop finning – Stop the trade': Commission welcomes European citizens' initiative and will explore ways to address trade in shark fins
European Commission: Question and Answers on ‘Stop finning – Stop the trade' European citizens' initiative (5 July 2023)
EUR-LEX: OJ C275, 04/08/2023: Communication on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Stop Finning – Stop the Trade’

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