The Australian Greens have today welcomed the move by the NZ Government to end shark finning in their waters and called on the Australian Government to show a similar commitment to preventing cruel finning and carcass dumping practises in Australian waters.
"Sharks are under incredible pressure from a range of threats, including climate change and ocean pollution, without also being targeted for their fins," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine and fisheries spokesperson said today.
"By making it illegal to harvest fins from sharks that are accidentally caught up in nets, there will no longer be a perverse incentive against making NZ fisheries more sustainable.
"Australia does not operate under exactly the same arrangements as NZ, but we also need to look at how the shark fin trade here is responsible for a rapid decline in our shark species.
"A patchwork of different laws between the Commonwealth, State and Territories, and lack of any central source of figures for shark fin imports and exports, is undermining efforts to stop it.
"This is why we released two costed shark policy initiatives during the election - one to reduce the incidence shark finning, and the other to invest in a better research and monitoring of our sharks.
"Our shark finning policy would solve the current data collection problems, as well as banning shark fin imports, and tightening up Australian shark fishery practises.
"The Australian Government needs to look to its counterparts in NZ, and take further action to end shark finning here," concluded Senator Siewert.