The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the Shark Fins Bill at second reading on 24 March 2023. The bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Labour), a former shadow spokesperson for environment, food and rural affairs-related matters in the House of Lords. The bill has passed the House of Commons, where it was sponsored by Christina Rees. Ms Rees was elected as a Labour MP for Neath but currently sits as an independent MP.

The bill would ban the import and export of detached shark fins and shark fin-containing products in Great Britain, with routes available for conservation-related exemptions. It would also extend an existing prohibition on the removal, retention on board, transhipment and/or landing of shark fins applying to UK fishing vessels, wherever they may fish, to all fishing vessels operating in UK waters.

The bill would not ban the sale of shark fins or shark fin products in the UK, provided they had been sustainably sourced from unprotected shark species either landed or imported with fins still attached.

The government supports the bill and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs supplied explanatory notes, a regulatory triage assessment, a delegated powers memorandum and a human rights memorandum for the version of the bill introduced in the House of Commons. The bill was subject to one technical amendment in the Commons before it passed with cross-party support.

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