asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many special permits have been issued since 1997 derogating from the European Union common fisheries policy regulations, including Council Regulation (EC) No. 1185/2003, which controls the removal of fins from sharks on board vessels; and whether they will cease issuing such permits. [HL4938]
Defra regularly reviews the justification before granting permits for existing fisheries and prior to issuing permits where they are sought for new fisheries. Vessels granted permits are regularly inspected at sea and on landing. Permits are issued on a quarterly basis; the table below gives the yearly totals since 2004. The licences may be withdrawn if offences against their conditions are committed. There is no evidence to indicate that we should cease issuing permits.
2004 2005 2006 2007 to date No. of UK vessels issued with 1185/2003 shark fin special permits 13 18 14
2007 to date
No. of UK vessels issued with 1185/2003 shark fin special permits