The European parliament on Thursday called a definitive halt to shark finning, the long contested practice of fishermen slicing off fins and throwing the live body overboard to drown.
The EU prohibited shark finning in 2003, but an exemption allowed fishermen with special permits to remove the fins from their carcass out at sea and bring back the remainders or land them in different ports.
In March, fisheries ministers endorsed a proposal to force fishermen to bring sharks to port intact, but the measure needed the approval of the parliament.
Marine conservation group Oceana applauded the move, saying it marked a key chapter for shark conservation.
“The measure closes long-standing enforcement loopholes in EU policy on shark finning, will improve the collection of valuable data about shark catches, and will help to prevent the trade of fins from threatened shark species,” it said in a statement.