Taiwan to bar fishermen from killing sharks for fins
Jul 10, 2011, 15:59 GMT
Taipei - Taiwan will introduce strict measures next year to bar fishermen from killing sharks for their fins, an official said Sunday.
From 2012, Taiwan will demand that fishing boats only bring back whole sharks, to prevent the practice of removing the fin and dropping the dying animals back into the sea, said Fisheries Administration director James Sha according to the daily United Evening News.
'Those who violate the ban will be fined or have their fishery licenses revoked,' the paper quoted Sha as saying.
Taiwan currently uses the so-called 100-to-5 formula to crack down on hunting shark fin. If a trawler returns to port carrying 100 tons of shark meat, the sliced off shark fin must not account for more than five tons.
Sha said that Taiwan wants its fishermen to legally obtain shark fin, rather than trying to ban shark fishing or the consumption of shark fin.
In many Asian countries, shark fin soup is considered a delicacy and is one of the main courses at wedding banquets.
There are some 380 species of shark, but only three of them - whale shark, white shark and basking shark - are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES or the Washington Convention.
Conservation groups have warned that catching sharks, especially for their fins, has caused a sharp drop in their population and could drive them into extinction.