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Taiwan tightens laws against shark fin hunts

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jul 15, 2011 10:00 AM
Shark fin is considered an Asian delicacy steeped in culinary tradition and lore. In modern shark fin hunts, fisherman often remove the fins on board their ships then discard the remaining shark (still alive) overboard. Taiwan will be the first Asian government to outlaw this barbaric practice.
Taiwan tightens laws against shark fin hunts

NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins

Currently, Taiwanese fisherman are already prohibited from discarding shark bodies overboard and are required to bring them back ashore.  Taiwan is the first and only Asian nation to have any anti-shark-fin legislation on the books.  However, conservationist have criticized this law as too lax and open to loopholes. A new law, which will take effect early 2012, will prohibit the removal of fins aboard fishing vessels; Sharks must be brought into port whole.

According to Taiwan's Fisheries Agency chief James Sha, "Any violators may be fined, barred from leaving ports, have their catches confiscated or even have their fishing boat licenses revoked, depending on how seriously they contravene the measures."

While this is a most welcomed step in the right direction, it is unfortunately a small drop in the bucket.  China's growing prosperity has increased demand for shark fin.  China's lax environmental laws pose the greatest threat to sharks.


Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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