The Colombian Government has just issued a resolution making it legal to harvest shark fins from several Shark species, including the Silky Shark (carcharhinus falciformis), named as a “vulnerable species” (pictured above) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Notably, the resolution specified harvest quotas of “shark fins’ apart from the shark in its entirety.
The Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has ratified resolution #350 of 2019, dated 25 October 2019 that sets fish and seafood harvest quotas for 2020 in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Ratified by Andrés Valencia Pinzón, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the resolution sets quotas for over 20 species of fish, lobsters, crabs, conch, and other seafood.
This article has an update: Colombian Agriculture Minister seeks to backtrack on shark finning quota
Regarding sharks and shark fins, the resolution specifies that:
- In the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, commercial anglers may harvest 125 tons of Silky Shark, and notably in a separate line item, 5.2 tons of shark fins from Silky Sharks, as part of the 125 ton total catch.
- In the Pacific Ocean, the resolution authorizes 350 tons of shark harvest total, in what it calls “artisanal fishing” and indicates that 6.3 tons of shark fins from Thresher Sharks (alopias pelagicus),5 tons of shark fins from Bigeye Thresher Sharks (alopias superciliosus), and 2.1 tons from Scalloped Bonnethead Sharks (Sphyrna corona)
- The resolution allows for the harvest of 22.234.600 individual aquarium fish of various types, including freshwater rays.
- The resolution allows for the harvest of significant amounts of other commercial seafood such as tuna, crabs, bonefish, spiny lobster, shrimp, etc.
It is not indicated how such harvests will be monitored, measured, or enforced.
The actual resolution can be downloaded by clicking here.