New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Members of animal rights groups and a fishermen's association Thursday urged the government to ban shark finning, mainly for cooking a soup, an activist said.
Shark finning involves cutting off the fins of live sharks for an exotic, costly shark-fin soup, the activists said in a statement here.
Animal protection group Humane Society International (HSI), which has joined hands with Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (ADSGAF), asked the environment and forests ministry to adopt a policy which banned shark poaching and finning.
The fins of an adult shark only feed five people and many small sharks were being killed every day to meet the growing demand for the soup, they said.
"Shark finning in Indian waters is believed to be the work of foreign fishing vessels and poachers. If the government adopts a 'fins naturally attached' policy, it will help provide better regulation of fishing in India's waters and bring about an end to illegal poaching," said Y.S. Yadava, advisor, ADSGAF.
"Unlike other fish species, sharks produce few pups, and thus, there is a threat due to the fin trade. The European Union, the US and many countries in Latin America have adopted 'fins naturally attached' policies," HSI said.
India is the second-largest shark catching country, and one of the largest exporters of shark fins in the world, the statement added.