Shark fin bans ensnare New England fishermen

By Beth Daley, The Boston Globe,
16. September 2012

SIX MILES OFF CHATHAM — Greg Walinski leaned over the side of his boat and pulled spiny dogfish one by one off hooks he hauled from 70 feet below. Within an hour, the floor of the Alicia Ann was writhing with hundreds of the 3-foot-long, yellow-eyed sharks.

Waliniski then pointed the boat back to shore — and into an unfolding international trade controversy over the harvesting of shark fins for soup, an Asian delicacy.

Environmental groups have launched a global campaign to stop fishermen from slicing sharks’ fins off at sea before tossing the animals overboard to sink to slow deaths. But the push is ensnaring New England fishermen and processors, who take fins only from dead dogfish already landed for their meat.

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