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Europe to ban shark finning practice

Following in the footsteps of California, the European Union is on its way to ban the practice of shark finning, stating that they want to protect the animals, the AFP reports. The European Commission presented draft legislation forbidding shark finning by all vessels fishing in EU waters as well as EU-registered vessels anywhere in the world.

"We want to eradicate the horrendous practice of shark finning and protect sharks much better," Europe's fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki, told the media outlet.

The legislation proposal would close a loophole in EU policies - they currently ban finning, but allow fishermen to bring shark bodies and their fins to different ports as long as they comply with a fin-to-carcass weight ratio of 5 percent, Reuters reports.

Shark conservation groups have campaigned against this ratio for years, saying it is one of the most lenient across the globe.

The finning is practiced to make shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy. It is popular in Europe because the EU includes some of the world's major shark fishing nations - Spain, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Marine protection groups say that as many as 73 million sharks are killed annually to meet the demand for the delicacy. During this practice, the fins of the animals are cut off and the animal is left to drown, according to the media outlet.  
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