North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson has backed a bill to ban the import and export of shark fins in the UK.

The Shark Fins Act, brought forward by Christine Rees MP and recently passed in the House of Commons, has been hailed as an important step for shark conservation.

The bill prohibits the import and export of shark fins and to make provision relating to the removal of fins from sharks.

The SNP MP met with representatives from Shark Guardian which campaigns to help save sharks and the oceans.

Mrs Gibson said: “Shark finning is a cruel and barbaric practice whereby fins are removed from sharks, after which they are discarded back into the ocean and left to die a slow and painful death.

“Sharks are hunted in this way for their fins which are particularly sought after for traditional Chinese medicine as well as for shark fin soup which is considered a delicacy in Asia.

“Sharks are one of the most important species in the world protecting our oceans. However, millions of sharks are being killed each year from various human related activities and impacts.

“I also met with representatives from The Shark Trust and learned more about how our shared ocean, sharks and rays face a very real threat from industrial-scale fishing vessels.

“Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing.”

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