South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder has joined other Lib Dem calls at the European Parliament to ban the practice of 'shark finning' which threatens to kill off some of the ocean's largest predators.
Finning involves slicing off a shark's fins and discarding the rest of the carcass at sea. The practice is driven by high prices paid by Chinese buyers in order to make shark fin soup.
Often the shark is still alive after being finned and faces a lingering and cruel death as recovery from the injury is impossible.
Experts warn that shark numbers have in some case fallen by 90% over the past two decades.
Now Liberal Democrat MEPs are seeking the support of the European Parliament for a call to ban the practice in EU waters.
A "written declaration" backed by Lib Dem MEPs and co-sponsored by MEPs from France, Finland and Romania has already been signed by 78 Euro MPs from different parties in the first few days.
Catherine Bearder, a long time campaigner to stop animal cruelty, said:
"I do not oppose fishing, but not only is shark finning wasteful, it is unbelievably cruel. Many species of shark are in real danger of extinction but they are being hunted just for their fins to make a soup which is more of a status symbol than anything else."
"Not only is shark finning wasteful, it is unbelievably cruel. Many species of shark are in real danger of extinction but they are being hunted just for their fins to make a soup which is more of a status symbol than anything else."
If more than 369 MEPs sign the declaration by 20th December, the European Commission will have to look at a proposal to strengthen current laws and end legal loopholes that allow EU fishing fleets to fin sharks.