Chile Bans Shark Finning: Congress Unanimous
"With the passage of this law, Chile becomes a leader in the protection of these animals that are so important to marine ecosystems. We knew that large quantities of shark fins were being exported from our country. This practice meant the deaths of thousands of sharks each year. With this new law we will have a critical tool to protect and recover these most exploited species,"
- Alex Muñoz, Oceana Vice President for South America
In a move that has made the country a new leader in shark protection, Chile yesterday banned the practice of shark finning from its national waters.
After months of discussions since the bill on the ban was drafted and presented by the conservation group Oceana to the Chilean National Congress in January, the vote to approve the bill passed unanimously.
The ban effects 30 shark species that cruise the Chilean coastline, which covers an extensive stretch of the eastern Pacific all the way to the Southern Ocean. Of those sharks, 15 are specific targets for finning, including the near threatened Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) and the vulnerable Shortfin Mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus).