Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei is calling on the Minister of Fisheries to ban the barbaric practice of shark finning, and put New Zealand law in line with that of other developed countries.
"Despite fishing industry claims that shark finning is not common in New Zealand waters, I have photos of hundreds of mutilated sharks, whose fins are destined for restaurants both here and overseas," Mrs Turei says.
Shark finning, where the fins are removed and the body often dumped overboard, or sold as the fish in fish and chips, is illegal in the E.U., Australia, the US and Canada. The UN is currently seeking an international ban.
"But here in New Zealand, fishers are free to cut off the fins of over 100 species of sharks," Mrs Turei says.
"Sharks are slow growing, and produce few young. They are under huge pressure from over fishing, and have virtually no protection. Only 11 shark species are managed under the Quota Management System.
"The Government must recognise the vital role sharks play in the marine ecosystem and set catch limits for sharks and rays, and put an end to finning.
"The Minister of Fisheries is currently considering a recommendation to allow finning to continue, even though the vast majority of people submitting on a draft shark management plan earlier in the year called for an end to this inhumane and wasteful practice.
"The grotesque waste and the vulnerability of shark species, mean the Minister must make finning illegal, once and for all. I call on the Minister to listen to New Zealanders and put an end to this wasteful and inhumane practice."