Help us gather data on shark products in the European Union

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We need your help to gather information and dermine the prices for shark products in the European Union (EU). Please support Shark Savers Germany’s campaign and help to collect this data throughout all of Europe. The sharks need your help!

There is an impending change to the EU shark finning regulation which would be a good and one we support. One potential result, however, is less good: the change may result in more shark meat available, perhaps at a cheaper price. That may in turn create a bigger market for shark than there is today.

The information we are asking you to collect will be used to develop a comprehensive overview of the prices for shark products in Germany and ideally in the whole EU and to track pricing trends. With this information, we will be in a better position to understand and react to any changes to the availability of shark meat as a result to the shark finning regulation.

Why it is important to gather this information, now.

The European Commission is planning a revision of Council Regulation (EC) 1185/2003 dealing with the removal of shark fins on board of vessels. This measure is designed to stop shark finning and ensure that all sharks that are caught are landed together with their fins, rather than having the bodies discarded.

The current version of the law is not sufficient to stop the practice of shark finning and the regulation needs to be tightened. As currently written, the regulation dictates that the total weight of fins onboard a fishing vessel should not exceed 5% of the live-weight of shark carcasses stored onboard. Unfortunately this rule does not reliably prevent the practice of finning because the 5% does not represent the true weight of the fins of many shark species and it is more easy to fin some sharks. A better form of the regulation is to require sharks landed with the fins attached, as is the case with current US law.

At Shark Savers, we are in favor of this tighter regulation and have also informed the European Commission about our position on this topic. The landing of sharks with the fins naturally attached to the body is the only way to really prevent finning.

However, even if we were to stop shark finning, sharks can continue to be overfished. Indeed, this tighter regulation may even result in more of the sharks killed at sea will be brought to shore--not just their fins--and their meat put on the market. It is this liklihood that is the reason for the study that we are asking you to participate in.

We want to monitor the prices now, prior to the decision, to provide a basis with which to compare prices after the decision. This will enable us to monitor changes in shark products in the market in the event that the finning law is tightened: Will it result in increased supply and a subsequent drop in prices because now all the carcasses have to be landed? Will lower prices make shark meat more attractive to consumers and thus build the market for shark even further? These are the trends we want to detect so that we can plan for adequate countermeasures.

Please help us to promote the conservation of sharks!

EU residents, please download this file:
 Price monitoring_shark meat.xls and then go to your local fish and supermarkets and fill in the prices and information for all shark products you find there. Ideally, please do this weekly for the time being. This will enable us to monitor the prices on a regular basis. Please send the completed Excel spreadsheets on a monthly basis to: Germany@SharkSavers.org.

We will analyse the data and keep you informed about the results.

The sharks and Shark Savers are counting on you!