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FINSPIRE CHANGE UK

SHARK GUARDIAN CAMPAIGN

 

The U.K Bans the import and export of shark fins following the successful campaign by Shark Guardian

Government statement 12 May 2021:

The UK has a strong track record in marine conservation, and we have been pressing for stronger international action to protect sharks against unsustainable fishing practices and shark finning. Shark finning is the practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and discarding the finless body back in the water. It is a barbaric practice that has rightly been banned in the UK for nearly 20 years, but we do still import shark fins which may contribute to the practice. To this end, we will bring in legislation to ban the import and export of detached shark fins.

The announcement of the ban was published in the UK Governments new Action Plan For Animal Welfare campaign that will revolutionize the treatment of animals in the UK and introduce measures to protect the welfare of animals abroad.

In the new Action Plan, the shark fin import and export ban falls under the 'Protect animals Abroad' section which states:​

Prohibiting the import and export of detached shark fins to protect the iconic shark species

Action Plan for Animal Welfare Website

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Why is there a campaign to ban shark fin in the UK?

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  • Currently it is legal to bring 20kg of dried shark fin into the UK according to the 'fish and fish product' allowances set by UK Border Force without declaration.

  • 20kg of dried shark fin potentially equates to hundreds of sharks butchered dependent on size.

  • Many of these fins could belong to threatened shark species listed under CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species). These could make their way into the UK illegally through the loophole identified in the import system.

  • It is required that imported items over the value of £390 be declared to UK Border Force. 20kg of shark fins can have a value of over £4,000. This identifies huge tax evasion potential.

 

Shark Guardian Finspire Change UK campaign as it happened:

 
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March 2020: Petition launched

A UK Petition #300535 was launched by Shark Guardian Ambassador Robin Gallagher. Robin a Politics student at Portsmouth University, has had a strong interest in sharks. Robin set up a petition asking the UK to ban the import of shark fins. He is extremely proud to be a part of the Shark Guardian team.

 

The launch of the UK Petition #300535 to ban shark fin was vital and time sensitive. Having left the EU, the UK could champion conservation measures much more forcefully.

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September 2020: 115,380 Signatures reached & Government responds

Success! The Shark Guardian Finspire Change UK Petition reached 115,382 signatures by the time the petition ended on 11th September 2020.

Since the petition surpassed the minimum number of 100,000 signatures, the UK Government provided their second (revised) response:

Read Governments second response here

May 2020: Finspire Change UK Campaign launch

In order for a petition to reach parliament and be debated, a petition has to successfully reach at least 100,000 signatures. In order to achieve this Shark Guardian created the Finspire Change UK campaign to raise awareness and grow petition signatures with a strong social media presence and strategy. 

Shark Guardian collaborated with NGOs, charities, publishers, media outlets, artists, scuba diving agencies and public figures through the Finspire Change UK campaign. 

December 2020: UK Government launches Call for Evidence

The UK Government launches a 'Call for Evidence' related to the shark fin trade in the UK. 

 

The Governments 'Call for Evidence' was a direct result from the successful petition driven by the Shark Guardian Finspire Change UK campaign.

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June 2020: 10,000 Signatures reached!

Shark Guardian collaborated with as many organizations, NGOs, publishers, media, artists, scuba diving agencies and charities as possible. 

In less than 2 months the campaign inspired thousands of people! The petition gained over 10,000 signatures for the petition by June 2020.

 

At this point the UK Government provided their first official response to the growing petition:

Read Governments first response here

May 2021: UK Government bans shark fin imports and exports

The announcement of the ban was published in the UK Governments new Action Plan For Animal Welfare campaign that will revolutionize the treatment of animals in the UK.

In the new Action Plan, the shark fin import and export ban falls under the 'Protect animals Abroad' section which states:​

Prohibiting the import and export of detached shark fins to protect the iconic shark species

 

Finspire Change UK Campaign Publications:

 

Campaign related blogs: