Sydney, 9 January 2014. Greenpeace Australia Pacific today welcomed the New Zealand government’s announcement that it will join Australia and ban the brutal practice of shark finning, saying the change was helped by over 20,000 of its supporters who made submissions to a New Zealand Government review of shark laws.
“Australians love our oceans and their attitude to sharks is changing, showing a growing interest in shark protection. The public wanted New Zealand to ban shark finning and are now calling on the Western Australian government to drop its ill-conceived plans to cull sharks,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s communications manager James Lorenz said.
Today the New Zealand Government announced killing sharks just for their fins and dumping the bodies at sea will be illegal by October 2016.
“The blue and short finned mako sharks, which are killed in New Zealand for their fins, are our sharks too, swimming back and forth across the Tasman,” Mr Lorenz said.
“Australia makes up half of New Zealand’s tourism market and is one of the largest importers of New Zealand seafood.
“Australians had a powerful voice in the campaign to change New Zealand shark finning laws.
“The NZ Government received 45,300 submissions in favour of the ban, over 20,000 of which came in response to Greenpeace Australia’s call for Australians to put pressure on the Key Government,” Mr Lorenz said.
The new laws mean New Zealand will join around 100 countries and states, including Australia, the EU and US, to ban shark finning.
Globally around 270,000 sharks are killed every day and the trade in shark fins is driving much of this slaughter. This is causing a serious decline in the world's shark populations, and many species are under threat.
New Zealand is among the world's top 10 nations for killing and exporting sharks and a major exporter of shark fins to Hong Kong. Recently NZ become the biggest exporter of dried shark fins to the United States.
Contact: Alison Orme Greenpeace Australia Pacific 0432 332 104
Quality photos of shark finning are available from Greenpeace Australia on request.