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UK launches Call for Evidence to protect endangered shark species!

Updated: May 17, 2021

From May to September 2020 Shark Guardian successfully lead a UK Government Petition campaign to ban shark fin importations into the UK. The petition ended on the 11th September 2020 with 115,380 signatures.

Now the UK Government is actively investigating evidence to protect endangered shark species.

Greater protections for sharks will be considered through a new call for evidence issued by the government. This allows the government to ask scientists, NGOs and informed members of the public to provide information on the scale of the shark fin trade in the UK, how to help reduce the import and export of shark fins and protect the world’s sharks. We believe this has been in direct result of the recent Shark Guardian campaign and petition to ban shark fin importations into the UK.

The UK Government has stated, in response to the petition:

The UK has a strong track record in marine conservation and has been pressing for stronger international action to protect sharks against unsustainable fishing practices and shark finning, which is the practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and discarding the finless body back into the water. The government is now seeking additional evidence to ensure that appropriate protection is in place for all shark species and to inform future policy on protecting marine wildlife.

The call for evidence will guide the governments future legislative changes through understanding the conservation, economic, social and cultural impacts of potential further restrictions such as banning the import and export of detached shark fins.

The greatest threat to sharks is overfishing, driven by demand for shark products. Wild populations of shark, skates and ray species have declined rapidly and species such as the scalloped hammerhead and angelshark are now considered critically endangered.