Letter: Wasteful practice

Last updated 10:52 19/11/2013

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OPINION: The New Zealand Shark Alliance is a group of non-governmental organisations, scientists and fishers calling for a ban on shark finning in our waters.

In response to the letter from R Lea Clough suggesting shark finning is already illegal in New Zealand, it is not.

Cutting the fins off live sharks is banned, but we urgently need to ban the senseless and wasteful practice of killing sharks just for their fins and dumping their bodies back in the sea.

Some target shark fisheries in New Zealand utilise most of the shark body as well as the fins.

While improvements such as quantitative stock assessments are needed in those fisheries, NZSA is not calling for them to end.

However, in some other fisheries, such as the longline tuna fishery, sharks are caught and killed only for their fins, and the rest of the body - over 95 per cent - is simply dumped back to sea, dead.

Many of those sharks are still alive when they are brought to the boat, and could be released relatively unharmed if shark finning were banned.

Wasting almost an entire animal is the opposite of sustainable fishing, and allowing this practice to continue in New Zealand is contrary to the values of most Kiwis and threatens the very reputation that our tourism and primary industries trade upon.

If you support a ban on shark finning please make a submission to the Ministry of Primary Industries, which is seeking public feedback on this proposal until December 8.

KARLI THOMAS
Oceans Campaigner
Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand

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