Shark's fin soup could be under threat. –

Shark’s fin soup could be under threat. Published:  28 September, 2006

THE growing popularity of shark’s fin soup could be curtailed following a vote in the European Parliament, it was claimed today.

Scottish National Party President and Euro MP Ian Hudghton, a

member of the Parliament’s Fisheries Committee was one of

those who voted to restrict the practice of shark finning in EU waters which sees sharks hauled on board ships to have their fins removed before being thrown back into the water, often still alive.

Earlier,Tory MEP Struan Stevenson said he received a majority support for his amendment to reduce the shark fin to body weight ratio from 6.5% being called for by the Spanish and Portuguese fishermen, to 2%.

MEPs want current rules amended to reduce the number of

sharks that can be discarded after having their fins

removed and it is hoped, they say, that this in turn will see

the practice curtailed.

Commenting after the vote in Strasbourg, Mr Hudghton

said:”We’ve heard compelling evidence that this practice is cruel, unnecessary and ultimately very wasteful. “Shark’s fin soup may well be a delicacy but this doesn’t excuse the process undertaken to obtain the shark fins in the first place.

“The EU rules that have been in force up to now are

unwieldy and riddled with loopholes, and from what

we’ve heard they are not being properly enforced

or monitored in all EU countries.

” I hope that we’re moving towards a better balance

on this sensitive issue and that perhaps consumer

pressure will ultimately play a role in curtailing this practice.”

Meanwhile Mr Stevenson said he was pleased

with the support for his amendment to reduce the shark fin

to body weight ration from 6.5% to 2%.

The Parliament voted 360 to 182 in favour of the

amendment and Mr Stevenson said the Spanish and

Portuguese were hoping to

increase the ration to 6.5%.The final

amended report was supported 483 votes to 58.

Mr Stevenson said “This shows that where there

is a strong conservation message, lots of people

will listen.

“The amendment will more than half the number of

blue sharks being fished and will pretty much

ensure the survival of the species.

“During the debate Commissioner Borg said he was

against the Spanish and Portuguese position to increase

the ratio. The Commission has also announced that it intends to review the situation and it is bound to take into account the position of the Parliament vote today.”