Policy Regarding Shark Finning

Shark finning – the retention of fins and discard of the remaining carcass at sea – is an abhorrent practice which contravenes various international rules and regulations, including:

  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.
  • The resolutions of a number of other international marine bodies, all of which call for minimizing waste and discards.
  • Shark-related conservation and management measures of the regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) that restrict finning, regardless of fishing vessel gear type, through a proviso that the weight of fins landed cannot exceed 5% of the total shark catch on board.
  • The legislation of several countries requiring that fins remain naturally attached to shark bodies.
  • As a responsible member of the maritime community, and fully supportive of RFMO management measures, national legislation, and the conservation of marine life, Chicken of the Sea:

    1. Condemns the practice of shark finning as defined above.

    2. Calls on RFMOs to improve their management of shark fisheries by prohibiting shark finning and adopting the mandatory reporting of shark catches by species.

    3. Prohibits the practice of shark finning onboard its own vessels and those of its subsidiary companies.

    4. Will not transact business with any vessel that has been identified by an RFMO or national authority to have practiced shark finning. Such ban shall continue for a period of two consecutive years from the date of the most recent finding.

    5. Will not transact business with any company that has no published policy banning shark finning, or having instituted such a policy does not fully enforce its provisions.

    6. Recognizes that companies may require time in which to promulgate finning policies and conscious of the need to consult with them, Chicken of the Sea expects that those policies will be in place no later than September 1, 2012.