February 22, 2006,
The Government has banned shark finning on all foreign vessels licensed to fish in Seychelles’ waters.
A communiqué from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) said yesterday that the ban is on finning, but not the fishing of sharks.
Shark finning is the wasteful and often cruel practice of slicing off the highly valuable fins from sharks and dumping the rest of the shark, often still alive, back into the sea.
The finned sharks sink to the bottom where they bleed to death, drown or are attacked by other predators.
Shark fishing, where the whole shark is brought back to shore along with the fins, is still allowed and not covered by the ban.
The regulations enforcing the shark finning ban, which took effect on Monday, include all foreign owned vessels which are registered or flying Seychelles flag, but do not apply to Seychellois-owned fishing boats.
The latter will later be covered by a National Plan of Action on the conservation and sustainable use of sharks (NPOA-Sharks). This is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) and the SFA in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
The NPOA, which will ensure that sharks are fished in a manner which protects stocks for future generations, will be discussed with local fishing boat owners before it is finalized.
See http://www.sharktrust.org/ for more conservation news.