Saturday, March 14, 2015

Switzerland bans the importation of shark fins!

Fin Fighters UK has just made the following announcement

On the 5 march 2015 a government council banned the Import of fins into the country. The Swiss national council accepted the proposition on thursday by 160 votes against 19 and was passed into effect. Amazing!

Just goes to show that the tired old excuse of contravening World Trading Standards - is a load of rubbish.

That certainly sounds like good news. Anytime a country decides to ban the importation of shark fins, it is a victory for sharks. Since I grew up in Switzerland and obviously love sharks, I wanted to find out, a bit more about the process of how this law was passed and just how many sharks might be saved by it. What I found out might surprise you. 

According to the official website for the Swiss Government, the motion to establish this law was registered on April 17, 2013, by Congressman Oskar Freysinger. That means this process took about 2 years. Surprising many, the Swiss Federal Council, (the executive branch) was opposed to the ban, partially because of international trade agreements, which Fin Fighters mentioned as a ridiculous excuse. The main reason for their opposition was entirely different though. According to the Swiss import statistics, no shark fins are being imported into Switzerland, negating the need for a law.

I have to say that I'm proud of the country I grew up in. Not only do they now officially ban the import of shark fins, they never consumed them in the first place. At least not in quantities that would show up in import statistics.

Of course, anytime a country decides to pass a law like this, there are numerous groups either claiming credit and/or are using the news for fundraising. In the case of Switzerland, it was the initiative of just one Congressman, Mr. Oskar Freysinger. Merci bien, Oscar!

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at