The finning of dead sharks in New Zealand waters will be completely banned by 2016, the NZ Government has announced.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy released the National Plan of Action for Sharks yesterday, which laid out Government’s objectives for managing shark populations for the next three years.
In November, ministers proposed a ban on the finning of dead sharks in a draft version of the plan.
They initially recommended that the ban should be applied to all fisheries by 2016.
Under the plan released today, the first tranche of species would be protected from finning in October this year.
All other species except blue sharks would be protected from October 2015. The finning ban would apply to blue sharks from October 2016.
The tighter deadline was due to an overwhelming public response, ministers said.
Around 45,000 submissions were received on the proposal.
Dr Smith said: “Sharks may not be as cute and cuddly as our kiwi and our kakapo but we have 113 species of shark in our waters, a significant number of them are endangered and this additional protection will ensure their survival.
“The 45,000 submissions the public has made… shows that New Zealanders have matured in their attitude to the oceans a great deal from the ‘Jaws’ days when the only good shark was a dead shark.
“This measure of phasing in a ban on shark finning is also very important for New Zealand’s clean, green reputation.”
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Photo: David Vogt