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Should Shark Fining Remain A Legal Practice In New Zealand Waters?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,348 times Debate No: 36566
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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At the moment in New Zealand waters it is perfectly legal to kill a shark for its fins only, cut them off, and then dump the shark (dead or dying) back into the ocean, where in the later case, it lack the physical ability to move. I think that this practice is wrong and needs to become illegal. New Zealand is one of the top 20 exporters of shark fins. It is exported to Asian countries mainly to become the delicacy shark fin soup. And although I understand that this is a traditional and cultural dish I disagree with the practice in which the main ingredient is sourced. Our shark exports are work in excess of $1.5 billion per year but I think that to maintain our '100% pure label' it is money that New Zealand is going to have to leave behind. Every political party in New Zealand is calling for ban on this barbaric practice, except for our current governing party, the National Party. Do you think they should change there minds? Every year sharks kill about 10 people. generally through simple prey misidentification, yet humans kill more than 100 million sharks. This practice needs to be stopped and shark finig made illegal in New Zealand waters!


Sharks should be killed in NZ waters for numerous reasons. Firstly, as you said, the Kiwi shark exports are worth NZ$1.5bn each and every year. It's hard to imagine how much that is, if you were to split this money between every New Zealander, they would each get over $350. So it's a lot of money and one of NZ's largest exports. Think how much worse off the NZ government would be if they were to completely destroy this market. Billions of dollars lost each year and thousands of jobs lost. Also, only enough sharks are being 'harvested' as meet the demand, we're not going overboard. Banning shark finning in NZ waters will only make it more popular in other waters such as Chinese or Vietnamese waters; these territories are less regulated so even more sharks in those areas will suffer further. The ruling party, by definition, represents the views of most New Zealanders, meaning these people support their policies. Why should we ban something because the minority tells us to?
On top of that, killing sharks in NZ waters will reduce shark attacks and increase the amount of amazing wildlife in NZ waters as they aren't all being slaughtered by these huge sharks. You say we should stop killing sharks simply because of their fins. But we do the same to other animals: oxen. Oxen are killed every day throughout the world, not just in NZ but you never eat ox leg or 'ox breast' or anything like that. Oxen are killed so we can eat their tongues and their cheeks.
So if you were to instate this regulation, you would then have to stop killing oxen as well, but then you would have to interpret the law differently and force butchers to use ALL meat from animals and then you have a very sticky mess.
Yes, we should ensure sharks don't suffer, but banning shark finning all together would be a foolish move.
Debate Round No. 1


nadine123 forfeited this round.


To not have the decency to reply to an argument even after 3 days is very disappointing and shows how strongly you feel about this cause.
Debate Round No. 2


I do apologise for not posting previously, I have been sick.
Sharks should not be culled in New Zealand waters, and certainly not legally.
the ruling party, i.e national doesn't represent much of the nation, it may represent a majority at voting time but no longer, the political polls in New Zealand have this split now between parties in New Zealand.
As I said, only 10 people are killed by sharks every year, and sure one person died in New Zealand waters, and although this is a very saddening activity and my condolences are expressed, shark attacks are not a excuse to allow this practice.
Also, sharks have roamed this planet for millions of years, with the megladon sharing the world with dinosaurs, and wildlife have survived fine since then. It is a blatant and sweeping generalisation to say that sharks are killing off wildlife. Sharks simply make up a part of the food chain, they kill fish, sure, but what does that do to alter the wildlife that they have killed for millions of years. Humans are what are changing the wildlife numbers, they're peaking without the so called 'huge slaughtering sharks' around to kill them, and peaking numbers arnt necessarily a good thing when food articles in the ocean are dropping due to other man made issues like global warming.
Sharks are not and will never be huge creatures sought out on destroying human and animal life in the ocean. Sure they can grow to be metres long, have rows of ever-replacing teeth and they're skin alone will cut you, but does this mean they should culled. or are they simply a marvel of evolution who have devised there own special way of understanding and adapting to their environment. After all sharks haven't grown legs and are attacking us in our own beds, it us who are encroaching on their environment in this world.
National, as mentioned above is the majority, just. But the other smaller parties who are calling for the ban split parliament right down the middle, so I have to disagree when my opponent says 'Why should we ban something because the minority tells us to?' firstly, its not the minority and secondly,, why not? Its a barbaric practice, and it taints out 100% pure stance. I mean, we arnt 100% pure, but the world still thinks we are, and each and every mistake we make, like not not banning shark fining, or a botulism outbreak taints it further.
The point raised about oxen is an interesting one, and one I guess all about ethics. it comes down to if we think sharks and oxen are in the same league. Sure, there deaths also are not pretty and some slaughtered in horrible ways, but so are sharks. So perhaps banning shark fining will start a revolution, so to speak. So maybe interpreting the law differently would be a good thing, it could change all sorts of aspects of life.
And also the minor point about using ALL parts of the oxen also falls as my local butcher actually does us all parts of the meat butchered, selling the bones as dog bones or for soup, the hearts and organs, the skin for sausage casings etc.
Sharks should not be slaughtered in New Zealand waters simply for their fins, nor for any reason, it is morally wrong, and $1.5 NZD billion may seem like a lot but when you consider that our total exports were worth more than $40 NZD billion last year and mainly in dairy I'm sure we can make do in other sectors without tainting out pure image further.


I'm so terribly sorry to hear of your ailment, and I was delighted to hear from you again.
I'd like to reply to your points. You asked why we shouldn't do something because the minority tells us to; the answer is quite simple, in parliament, the Nationals will represent the majority of NZ voters. Now, I'm British, I know nothing about NZ but I do know that it is a democratic country with an excellent parliamentary system and that the Nationals represent the majority of the voters.
10 people being killed by sharks is 10 too many. We are human beings. Homo sapiens. We don't just roll over and die, we hunt, we protect ourselves. The New Zealand gov't has disappointed me by not taking MORE measures to ensure sharks do not attack humans. Raising the number of sharks in NZ waters will only result in more deaths. You might see that one person as just 'one person'. But that person is a son or a daughter, somebody's baby. They'll likely be a brother or sister, a mother or father, aunt, uncle. That one person means so much to so many other people. Sharks are not capable of this emotional attachment and as such should be the ones who are killed, not our own kind.
Yes, sharks have roamed the plane for years and their existence doesn't currently change wildlife in NZ waters, but getting rid of them will allow so much MORE wildlife to thrive. One of your neighbours, Australia, has the Great Barrier Reef. An attraction to which hundreds of thousands swarm each year; that could be New Zealand.
According to your figures, shark finning counts towards nearly 4% of NZ exports each year; linking this in the point about oxen, redefining the law so that sharks can't be culled will then stop oxen exports too; the lamb industry might even be affected which is a huge export of NZ. You cannot afford to affect that.
The smaller parties won't 'split parliament down the middle' because, according to you, the Nationals have a MAJORITY.
It doesn't have to be barbaric. I know it is wrong to cut of its fins and put it back in the water, but we can regulate shark finning so things like this don't happen. Wouldn't that be better than harming 4% of NZ exports and possibly more by creating a domino effect?
Debate Round No. 3


to begin my rebutal I will begin with the points cented around human deaths and why this soppsably constitutes the killing of sharks.
As i have said, sharks kill roughly 10 people each year. What i havent said is that multiple organisations in documentries, pamphets and warning posters on sharkprone beaches warn about the times not to swim, i.e dusk and dawn, just after its rained, if you have a cut etc. And many of the fatal attacks and injuring attacks that occur, occur at this time, it was normally just a matter of prey misidentification.
Sharks are not the only animal that kill humans, 21 people in the US alone die because of a result of a dog attack or bite, Alligators have killed 18 people in the last 60 years, one person dies in the US anually from an alligator bite or attack, 1 person is killed by a bear in the US per year. Lions and elephants occasionly kill their keepers and in the wild people are atacked.
But nobody goes out and kills elephants because one person died, nobody goes around slaughtering dogs because it killed somebody. I feel that the sharks situtation is similar to snakes. Snakes are viewed to be extremly dangerous, poisonous fangs etc. When somebody is bitten or killed by a snake instantly the next snakes seen are cut in half, stood on etc. Sharks and snakes are viewed as dangerous i feel that because they are supposably considered the things of nightares, peple use this to justify their actions.
So although sharks do kill humans, and we had a fatal attack here in NZ a few motnhs ago, and although this is sad ocurance fr al those involved, killing them wont solve the problem. The attacks are simply because a human has encroached upon their land, at their time.
If a burgler was in our house, we generally takes steps to reduce the risk that it poses to our families and belongies, by confronting him/her or calling your respective emergency number. This is what the sharks are doing. Your in their house(the ocean) and they feel the need to protect their food, or especially young, from you (so they cofnront you)

Comparing NZ and her waters to the Great Barrier Reef also falls, as the sharks roam that reef. Australian waters are home to 80 species of sharks. And in all the photos posted of people on the reef, it is not uncommon to see a silver or black tip reef shark in the back. So how our neighbours having a thriving reef ecosystem even reates to thisd ebate im not sure, because sharks play a vital part in that reef ecosystem.

So maybe your right, new Zealand could have thrving reef ecosystems, if we stopped killing 100 million sharks per year.
And we could have that hige tourist attraction, if we stopped killing 100 million sharks per year.

It all comes back to the sharks, and killing them is doing nothing to help our wildlife.


You say that it is we who encroach on their land, but they are NZ waters, they belong to the PEOPLE of New Zealand. And don't bring up this rubbish about killing other species, one shark attack in NZ is one too many, and it could have been stopped by culling sharks. We are human beings, why should WE have to go out of OUR way to avoid certain times to swim in OUR water. A shark is rather stupid to try and protect food that we, quite frankly, do not want; you say killing sharks is barbaric, how about a shark ripping a mother of 3 to pieces as she goes for a leisurely swim whilst on a family holiday? Isn't that a little more hard hitting than harvesting our food supplies? We, as humans, are hunters after all.

Burglars enter to harm, to steal from us. The mother of three means no harm to the shark whatsoever.

"So maybe your right, new Zealand could have thrving reef ecosystems, if we stopped killing 100 million sharks per year.
And we could have that hige tourist attraction, if we stopped killing 100 million sharks per year." Yes. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4


Because this is the last round I would like to begin by saying how much I have enjoyed partaking in this debate and replying to and thinking about the points raised.

My main points during this debate have been how a shark attack, however saddening, doesn't make fining alright, when a shark is culled for its fins, only 2% of the shark is used, the remaining 98% usually goes overboard. This is wasteful and degrading. It is damaging to out 100% pure label.
In the 2010/11 season 73,000 Porbeagle Sharks were landed in New Zealand waters. Yet these are slow reproducing sharks and their stock numbers are not known for NZ waters.
Sharks are also not out to get us. They do attack humans, but, so do so many other creatures, yet they still roam the wilderness, not targeted by humans.
The idea that sharks are only caught to meet demand is actually a point for my side of the house, because the actual demand for shark fins is rising. So although sharks are caught to for the amount needed for the fin market, the numbers needed are rising dramatically to meet the demand for shark fin soup or traditional medicines. This means that more sharks need to be culled, having a negative affect on the environment and wildlife that inhabit it.
Sharks play a vital part in any ecosystem, they prey upon sea creatures, but given the chance, these sea creatures could overrun and destroy the habitat, with out sharks numbers of fish would rise, needing more food articles and area, meaning they will desecrate that area, like how Crayfish are needed to keep Kina Barrens at bay in NZ waters. Fish produce must faster than sharks and removing the sharks will only result in overpopulation of fish and the smaller fish wont service because of the lack of food. The sharks are needed to balance everything out, just like whales or Dolphins. They play their respective part in maintaining a healthy environment.
And it is proved in reefs throughout the world that sharks and fish can survive on the reefs without a desecrated ecosystem, such as the Great Barrier Reef in which Silver and Black Tip sharks are often seen.
The sharks have devised their own way of coping with the environment, through billions of years of evolution, they don't set out to kill us, or to harm us. But the reality is, as one backed up by scientists, is that as we explore further into world, persist on altering their environment though Global Warming etc, we are going to come into contact with them, it is something that has to be accepted. And those of us who live near the sea know and recognise this, we now the dangers. So an attack doesn't credit killing sharks.
In a ship of Guatemala in 2008, 30,000 tonnes of fins were found, with no corresponding carcasses. Although this isn't in NZ, think, that many fins were cut of sharks for no reason.

in New Zealand is is legal to kill a shark simply for its fins, and waste the rest. This practice is shameful, harmful and wasteful. We are meant to be a first world country and proud of our supposed 100% pure image but shark fining disagrees with this.

We need to stop the barbaric act, and even changing and regulating a new form is killing is still something horrible as they are still dying and still being killed for something that undermines everything NZ says about their pure stance.

I live in NZ, but I would be much more proud to say that if we stopped this practice.

Thank you.


Sharks, as we both agree, are only caught to meet demand. If sharks are not caught in NZ waters, then more will have to be caught in badly regulated waters such as China and Vietnam. NZ, as a first world country, has the power to implement laws to ensure there is no mistreatment of sharks by regulating its waters, fiercely. Otherwise, more will be mistreated in other waters.
You will lose over NZ$1,000,000,000 each year and even more meat markets will be affected, you'll remember the 'problem with oxen'.

Sharks may not set out to kill us, but they still do. A faulty aeroplane may not specifically 'intend' to kill 320 people on board, but it still does KILL THEM when all its engines fail and it crashes into the North Atlantic. Do we leave the plane faulty because it doesn't 'intend' to kill us? No! Why should we do the same for sharks and leave them to kill us?

Your Guatemala example isn't NZ. This article is about NZ waters, a first world country; Guatemala is not first world. This is what I'm talking about: REGULATION. NZ needs to ensure fining is regulated so things like this don't happen; banning it and having no regulation is going to make occurrences such as this more commonplace.

As I've said before, shark attacks are more barbaric than shark finning. We need to cull these creatures who simply insist on ripping our race to pieces; it's horrendous and it must be stopped.


Thank you for such a good debate, I hope we can debate again another time.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 3 years ago
Fined for what? Scaring people on beaches?
Posted by kmcbrair 3 years ago
For a debate, you should proof your post. Several misspellings/word misuse. That aside, I agree it should stop. I've eaten shark, and it is delicious; however, they should not be made to suffer like this. It is like killing a cow for a pair of shoes and leaving the body to rot while millions are being killed for consumption. Ridiculous, wasteful and barbaric.
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