Its holidays right now so I haven't really been watching the news, so I was ultra excited to see this in my Facebook news feed this morning...
In effect from today (October 1st 2014) shark finning is banned in New Zealand waters.
This is from the Minister of Primary Industries page at http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Environmental/Sharks/Eliminating+shark+finning+in+New+Zealand.htm
'From 1 October 2014, it will be illegal for a commercial fisher to remove the fins from any shark and discard the body of the shark at sea in New Zealand. This date is significantly earlier than the initial time frame proposed in the NPOA-Sharks 2013 to enact a ban on shark finning in New Zealand'
And the really awesome thing about it, apart from the obvious, is that its a year or so earlier than what was scheduled. That's right, it was brought forward! It shows what can happen when we try to make a difference!
The catching of sharks can happen, but under the QMS (New Zealands Quota Management System) but taking their fins and dumping the sharks is now illegal! I really hope this is respected because sharks play such an important role in our Eco-systems.
Its really awesome that so many groups worked together to make a positive change, and like Dr Nick Smith said back in August
"It [the ban] reinforces New Zealand's strong international reputation for sustainability and protecting our natural environment," Dr Smith said today.
"Sharks play an important role in our marine ecosystems, and we need to ensure the appropriate management of the 113 species of shark in our waters."
This is how happy the ban is making the sharks ... (this photo makes me laugh more than it should!)
But here is a better representation of the beautiful world of sharks....