19 Dec 2005

Environmental groups criticise New Zealand for supporting shark finning

7:16 am on 19 December 2005

Environmental groups have accused Ministry of Fisheries officials of apparently blocking a United States attempt to ban shark finning in the Pacific.

Up to 50-thousand sharks are killed in New Zealand waters each year, some for their fins which are a delicacy in parts of Asia.

The practice is banned in Australia, the U.S., the European Union and Canada but New Zealand allows finning if the shark is killed first.

The Environment and Conservation Organisation says New Zealand and Japan joined forces against the ban at a recent international Fisheries Management meeting.

It says shark finning is barbaric and New Zealand's policy is increasingly determined by big companies within the fisheries industry.