Shark Finning

9 August 2012

Information provided by Shark Fin Free Auckland: 10-8-2012

Restaurants serving shark fin soup.

Please avoid these when dinning out in Auckland.
Main Offenders:

  • Grand Harbour Restaurant, Custom St West, Viaduct Harbour
  • Crystal Harbour Restaurant, Market Place, Viaduct Harbour
  • Paradish, Karangahape Road, Newton
  • Jade Dragon/SkyCity, cnr Victoria & Federal Streets, Auckland Central
  • China Yum Char Restaurant & Bar, Beach Road, Auckland Central
  • Grand Park Seafood Chinese Restaurant, Manukau Road, Epsom
  • Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, 57-59 Wakefield Street, Auckland Central.

Other Auckland Restaurants:

  • Empress Garden Restaurant, Jervois Road, Herne Bay
  • Hees Garden Seafood Restaurant, Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden
  • Hong Kong Delight Seafood Restaurant, Dominion Road, Mt Roskill
  • Joyful Chinese Restaurant, Manukau Road, Epsom
  • New Trend Chinese Restaurant, Dominion Road, Mt Eden
  • Pearl Garden Restaurant, Teed Street, Newmarket
  • Sichuan in Remuera Restaurant, Remuera Road, Remuera
  • Sichuan Restaurant, Broadway, Newmarket
  • Splendour Chinese Restaurant, Jellicoe Road, Panmure
  • Star Cafe Seafood Restaurant, Manukau Road, Epsom
  • Sun World Chinese Restaurant, York Street, Newmarket
  • Taller Park Restaurant, Wyndham Street, Auckland Central
  • Jin Hai Wan, 57-59 Wakefield Street, Auckland Central.

27 January 2006

Dear Dave Moran

Thank you for your letter dated 17 November 2005 regarding the management of sharks in New Zealand waters.
As you mention in your letter, steps have recently been taken to expand the number of shark species managed within the Quota Management System (QMS). A number of shark species caught as bycatch were recently introduced into the QMS based on a determination that such action would properly provide for the sustainable utilisation of these species.

There are now 11 species of chondrichthyans (sharks, skates, rays and chimeras) managed within the QMS framework. They are blue shark, ghost shark, pale ghost shark, mako shark, porbeagle shark, school shark, rig, spiny dogfish, rough skate, smooth skate and elephant fish. Total Allowable Catch limits are set for these species based on the best available information including trawl survey and catch data.

The Ministry of Fisheries is currently developing a National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (NPOA-Sharks) that the Ministry plans to release for consultation next year. The NPOA-Sharks will provide an overarching framework for managing sharks using a number of regulatory and non-regulatory tools. The New Zealand NPOA-Sharks will apply to all fishers that target sharks or regularly catch sharks as bycatch and to New Zealand fishers on the high seas unless their activities are covered under a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation or other sovereign regime.

New Zealand also has codes of practice in place to mitigate animal welfare issues related to finning. The Ministry of Fisheries has information that suggests there is reasonable compliance with these codes of practice. New Zealand manages the sustainability issues relating to shark harvest through our overarching fisheries management regime, this provides fishers with the flexibility to decide how they utilise their catch. This differs from many other countries that use firming restrictions to minimise shark bycatch, and hence manage sustainability concerns, in the absence of a robust, overarching fisheries management system.

Great white shark are now included on Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). As a result of their inclusion on CMS, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation are considering options for future management of great white shark under the Fisheries Act and/or Wildlife Act and intend to consult on these options early in the New Year.

With regard to trade in body parts of great white sharks, New Zealand is a party to the Convention on international Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This is an international agreement between Governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

New Zealand’s obligations under CITES are implemented through the Trade in Endangered Species Act, restricting trade in endangered, threatened and exploited species. Under this legislation, New Zealand has tight restrictions on the trade of basking shark, great white shark and whale shark.

I thank you for your interest in the management of our marine resources and trust this information has been of assistance to you.

Hon Jim Anderton Minister of Fisheries Parliament Buildings Wellington

17th November 2005

Dear Mr Anderton, Congratulation on your appointment as Minister of Fisheries.

Since our first letter dated 18th September 2001 to the then Minister of Fisheries Hon Pete Hodgson and further to the former Minister that you have replaced, Hon David Benson-Pope I have not been aware of progress with the quota management of the shark fin fishery.

Please see attached letters dated from 18 September 2001 to 14th April 2004.

Hon David Benson-Pope last letter dated 30th March 2004 talks about “The Ministry of Fisheries anticipates a reduction in shark finning for the pelagic sharks to be introduced into the Quota Management System on 1st Oct 2004. Catches will be monitored to determine whether this is the case.”

He also talks about the development of a National Plan of Action for sharks and indicated that the Ministry of Fisheries is developing a plan for the NZ shark fisheries. Can you advise of any progress in these issues?

As you will know there is worldwide concern regarding the reduced shark numbers in our oceans. The practice of shark finning is a major contributing factor to the decline in shark numbers around the world.

The New Zealand practice of finning of sharks either as part of a bi-catch or deliberately caught to feed the rising demand for shark fin products by New Zealand’s increasing Asian population I would suggest sends the wrong image about New Zealand’s environmental policies to countries such as USA and Australia and others that either ban the sale of shark fin products or have strict controls in place to minimize over exploitation.

Great White Shark Protection.

In the lead up to the recent elections the Labor Government promised to look at the possibility of having the Great White Shark protected in New Zealand waters as they are in some states of Australia.

Can you advise if this is still the case and if so what is the time frame and process for such protection to become law? Also if a ban is put in place will it also include banning the sale and importing of white shark body parts ie: fins, jaws and teeth, jewellery with teeth etc.

I’m sure many of our readers regard you as a man who stands by his word and gets the job done while he is in a position to do so. Our readers and many others would appreciate you response to the above.

Thanks for your time and we wish you success in managing your new ministerial portfolios.

Yours Sincerely

Dave Moran. Editor, Dive New Zealand magazine. Enc: Copies of past letters/faxes

17 April 2004

Dear Mr Moran

I refer to your facsimile dated 13 April 2004 regarding the New Zealand National Plan of Action (NPOA) for sharks.

Internationally there is concern about increasing catches of sharks and the potential adverse effects on shark populations. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has coordinated the development of an International Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks) within the framework of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The objective of the plan of action is to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use. Guiding principles for the plan of action are, that states that contribute to fishing mortality on a species should participate in its management, the precautionary approach should be applied to ensure sustainable management, and that management objectives and strategies should recognise the nutritional and socio-economic aspects of shark fisheries. Development of the NPOA for sharks in New Zealand is still at the formative stage. Formal objectives for the plan have yet to be developed but the intent is that the plan will encompass the broad objectives outlined by the IPOA within the context of our own legislative obligations.

The IPOA-Sharks is voluntary, but proposes that states should develop a national plan of action for the conservation and management of shark stocks if their vessels catch sharks in targeted or non-targeted fisheries. Each state is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring its national plan of action. No time frame has been formally determined for the production of national plans of action for sharks, rather states are encouraged to develop a national plan as soon as possible and to review this plan regularly, at least every four years. As you will be aware, we are in the process of introducing key shark species into the Quota Management System and setting sustainable limits on harvest. It is intended that the NPOA will be developed following introduction, with a view to having a draft plan for consultation with stakeholders by June 2005.

Yours sincerely, Hon David Benson-Pope Minister of Fisheries

13 April 2004

TO: Hon David Benson-Pope Minister

Dear David, Thanks for your letter of 30 March in response to my letter (27 Feb.04) regarding an up-date on shark finning in New Zealand. You mention a National Plan of Action for sharks is being developed by the MOF as part of New Zealand’s international obligation to develop such a plan. I’m sure our readers would like a little more information. It would be most appreciated if you could advise the following:

1) Is there a time frame for this plan to be developed?

2) What are the guide lines and final objectives of this plan.

Thanks for your advice. Regards, Dave Moran, Editor, Dive New Zealand magazine

30 March 2004


Dear Mr Moran, Thank you for your letter dated 27 February 2004 enquiring about progress with the quota management of the shark fin fishery.

The key shark bycatch species of tuna longline fisheries in New Zealand fisheries waters are blue shark, mako shark, and porbeagle shark. These species are to be introduced into the QMS on 1 October 2004. The Ministry of Fisheries has recently consulted with fisheries stakeholders on the catch limits and other management controls that will apply within New Zealand fisheries waters as of that date.

The stock status of species managed within the QMS is reviewed annually, or as new information comes to hand. Current information suggests that, at current levels of fishing, catches of blue shark, mako shark, and porbeagle shark are sustainable (bearing in mind that the stocks of these species extend beyond New Zealand fisheries waters). The Ministry of Fisheries has commissioned independent research to assess the age and growth of blue, mako, and porbeagle sharks to assist in the determination of sustainable catches in the future.

The Ministry of Fisheries considers that the QMS will provide strong incentives to reduce the practise of only landing the fins of shark bycatch because individual catch limits will apply and fishers will attempt to maximise their returns from a fixed catch., The Ministry of Fisheries anticipates a reduction in shark finning for the pelagic sharks to be introduced into the QMS on 1 October 2004. Catches will be monitored to determine whether this is the case.

In previous correspondence my predecessor outlined the international obligation to develop a National Plan of Action for sharks and indicated that the Ministry of Fisheries is developing a plan for the New Zealand shark fisheries. The National Plan of Action for sharks will address issues that may not be resolved by QMS management, and will be a vehicle to develop any necessary management proposals for species that may remain outside of this management regime.

I hope you find this follow-up information useful.

Yours sincerely, Hon David Benson-Pope, Minister of Fisheries

27 Feb. 2004

To: Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of Fisheries, Parliament Buildings.Wellington

Dear Mister Hodgson, A number of our readers have been asking how the Ministry was progressing with the quota management of the shark fin fishery.

They have recalled your letter that we printed in the Dec/Jan 2002 issue of the magazine. Please see copy attached.

I look forward to receiving your up-date. Thanks.

Regards, Dave Moran, Editor / Managing Director.

16 October 2001

Dear Mr Moran,


Thank you for your letter dated 18 September 2001 regarding shark finning. I was pleased to read that public awareness of this issue has grown.

I consider the finning of live sharks to be abhorrent. I can tell you that finning a live shark, and returning the shark trunk to the sea while alive, is an offence under specific provisions of New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act. I have directed the Ministry of Fisheries to advise fishers of their obligations under that Act. Other steps have also been taken to address the practice.

Representatives of the pelagic longline fishery (the fishery that catches most of the larger pelagic sharks) are also concerned about live finning and have prepared a Code of Practice. This requires fishers to kill sharks humanely before the fins are removed, or any other processing of the shark is done. These fishers have agreed to a review of their Code of Practice by the expert members of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. The combination of provisions in both the Animal Welfare Act and the reviewed Code of Practice should ensure that sharks are treated humanely in our fisheries.

Your first question asked about the current policy/regulation concerning the total allowable take of shark fins, and future plans for control/quota management of the fishery. Fins are taken from many shark species, and some (for example school sharks and rig) are already managed as target fisheries under the Quota Management System. For those species, annual total allowable commercial catches are set and the catches are constrained. Most of the catch of those species is landed as whole or dressed fish, and only a very small proportion is reported landed as fins. The landed weight of fins is converted to whole fish weight, and is included in the total landed catch. That constitutes a control on the take of fins for quota species.

The Ministry of Fisheries is in the process of introducing up to 50 further species or fish stocks into the quota system over the coming three years, and a number of those will be shark species. At present, the large pelagic sharks (like blue and mako sharks) taken in the longline fishery may only be taken as bycatch. Catch limits are not in place for any of those species. However, the available scientific advice suggests that the longline fishery is probably not seriously affecting pelagic shark stocks, although currently available data does not allow adequate stock assessment. The Ministry will be improving the monitoring of pelagic longline catches, including sharks, for the new fishing year (beginning 1 October 2001) to assist in providing reliable data for future assessments.

Your second question asked if the Ministry has figures on the quantity of fins consumed locally and exported. The Ministry collects data on catches and landings, but does not routinely collect information about the quantities that are consumed locally or exported. What I can tell you, however, is that such information will be held by licensed fish receivers, and can be obtained. I can also tell you that the annual combined landings of fins for blue and mako sharks (landed mostly as fins) has ranged from about 220 tonnes to 1100 tonnes over the past 10 years. Landings have increased noticeably in the past few years, and this is associated with the growth of the domestic longline fleet.

Your next question asked about the revenue being generated by primary suppliers, sales for local consumption, and export. Again, while the Ministry does not routinely collect information on such a split in revenue generated by fisheries, licensed fish receivers will hold the information you seek, and the Ministry can obtain it. The overall annual value of landed shark fins to commercial fishers is estimated to be about NZ$1.5 to $2 million. Prices paid to fishers for fins (not dried) have ranged from about $40 to $60 per kilogram.

The fourth question asked about future plans for lists of shark species that can be finned, and methods, times, or areas where sharks can be finned. Where sharks are caught, handled and processed lawfully and humanely in accordance with the fisheries and animal welfare legislation, the Ministry’s view is that finning is a legitimate fishing practice. Sustainable management of those fisheries will be achieved through the Fisheries Act. I have already mentioned the Code of Practice that has been developed by representatives of the longline fishers. That Code requires fishers to meet their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act. If sharks are taken and processed otherwise, then offences under that legislation would be committed.

Lastly, you asked if the Ministry has a timeframe for implementing either a total ban on shark fin products, or regulated marketing of those products. New Zealand bans the sale of food products only if they are covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). New Zealand shark species are not endangered, and their progressive introduction into the quota system will ensure that catches are sustainable. However, that does not stop consumers exercising their own discretion.

I am aware that the Ministry and fishers are discussing options for the management of the pelagic longline fishery into the future. The Ministry is also developing a National Plan of Action to address a range of fisheries management issues for sharks. That plan will help us to meet our international obligations under the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and the International Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks, that have been developed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Those obligations will guide the discussions to secure a sustainable future for sharks and other pelagic species.

Yours sincerely

Hon Pete Hodgson Minister of Fisheries

18 September 2001

To: Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of, Fisheries, Parliament Buildings, P OBox 1020, WELLINGTON


Dear Hon Pete Hodgson, As you may be aware we have been actively bringing to the attention of New Zealanders the practice of Shark Finning via the Magazine, Dive New Zealand, and recently on the ‘Holmes’ Show.

No doubt you are aware there is a worldwide concern that the demand for shark fin products is depleting world shark stocks to below sustainable levels.

Countries such as Australia and the USA have instigated fishing regulations/quotas to manage this resource and to also stop the unacceptable practice of finning live sharks at sea. There is very strong opposition to the practice in Asian countries. It is noteworthy to see that both Singapore and Thai Airlines have discontinued serving shark fin soup on their flights and some restaurants in Hong Kong and Singapore have taken sharkfin soup off their menus. This is in response to organizations actively bringing the practice of shark finning and the declining numbers of sharks to the general populations’ attention. From a Tourism and Conservation perspective many visiting Asians have expressed their amazement that the practice of shark finning is an acceptable practice in what the world sees as environmentally active New Zealand.

It would be appreciated by our readers if you could advise what the Ministry’s policies/intentions and records are for the following questions:

1. What is the current policy/regulation concerning:

(a) total allowable take of shark fins?; (b) future plans to control/ quota management for shark fins?

2. Does the Ministry have any figures on the total tonnage of shark fins:

(a) consumed locally?; (b) exported?

3. Does the Ministry or IRD have figures on the revenue being generated by: (a) primary suppliers, ie fishermen?; (b) local sales for local consumption?; (c) export earnings?

4. Does the Ministry have any regulations or future plans for:

(a) a list of shark species that can be finned?; (b) method, when and where a shark can be finned?

5. Does the Ministry have a time frame for implementing either a total ban on shark fin products or regulated marketing of shark fin products?

Thanks for your consideration and advice.

Yours faithfully, DAVE MORAN, EDITOR, Dive New Zealand magazine

CC: Hon Sandra Lee, -Minister of Conservation

Note: This open letter will appear in the Oct / Nov issue of the magazine and your reply will be noted in the Dec/ Jan2002 issue.

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