30 June 2023

The Deep are delighted to share the news that yesterday, Thursday 29th June 2023, the Shark Fin Act was passed into UK law. 

UK Tightens Law on International Shark Fin Trade

This new law will reinforce the existing shark finning regulations, and importantly help to mark a major step for the UK in global shark conservation efforts. Although this is not an all-out ban on shark fin trade, it will be more challenging for would-be traders.

Since 2009, the shark finning policy- ‘Fins Naturally Attached’- had been enforced to combat illegal finning of sharks in UK waters and by UK vessels worldwide. This new act now goes further to build on these existing protections by preventing the trade of detached shark fins and related products obtained using this method, such as tinned shark fin soup. 

Katy Duke, Chief Executive Officer at The Deep, said:

“There are many shark species currently under threat from human activities such as overfishing, combined with the huge demand for shark fin products. Although we still have a long way to go in ensuring the protection of sharks globally, we are pleased that the UK is taking steps forward in supporting the Shark Fin Act and tightening their finning restrictions.” 

The Shark Fins Act went through both Houses of Westminster earlier this month and was supported unanimously by MPs and Peers from all sides. The Shark Trust in particular has played a huge role in driving the act forwards, acknowledging this historic step in a 20 year journey from the first Shark Finning Regulation in 2003. 

The presence and variety of sharks in marine areas act as a key indicator for ocean health while the animals also play a vital role in marine ecosystems by helping to maintain healthy levels of fish below them in the food chain. 

For the full DEFRA statement, click here: Government introduces law banning international shark fin trade - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)