8 Feb 2014

Shark finning ban timing criticised

1:27 pm on 8 February 2014

A scientist is highly critical of the Government's decision to delay a ban on shark finning until 2016.

Riley Elliot is studying for a doctorate at the University of Auckland, and is involved in the Shark Watch project which tracks the movement of sharks around New Zealand and Australia.

He told Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand's Saturday Morning programme that New Zealand is out of step in still allowing shark finning.

Mr Elliot congratulated the Government for introducing the ban, but says delaying it to 2016 will mean killing 5000 blue sharks over the next two years.

He said the Government has insufficient data to track trends in the population size and removing many pregnant females will have a big effect on shark numbers.