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AWBI bats for shark finning ban

by fwire  Aug 8, 2013 23:45 IST

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued an advisory to coastal state fisheries Thursday urging them to allow fishermen to land sharks with their fins attached to prevent finning.

Shark finning is a practice in which fishermen catch sharks, cut their fins and release those back into the water where they die a slow and painful death.

"Since shark finning involves mutilation, the act of finning is a violation and punishable offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960," said AWBI Secretary Uma Rani.

In light of the advisory, the Humane Society International (HSI), in collaboration with the Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen has also renewed its appeal to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to consider adopting the shark fin naturally attached policy.

"As this is the International Shark Week, AWBI chose a key time to draw the attention of authorities to this pertinent shark conservation tool. We hope the central government shall also follow in the footsteps of AWBI," said HSI India wildlife campaign manager C. Samyukta.

According to a study by the European Commission, India is the second-largest shark-catching nation in the world. Fishermen target and catch sharks in India primarily for their meat. However, they also export fins.

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