Campaign in support of the EU citizens' initiative “Stop Finning — Stop the Trade” for an EU-wide trade ban on loose shark fins

Not without You!

What? We can't do it without you? — Yes, exactly, it won't work without you!

By January 2022, 1 million votes must have been received on the EU Commission's portal so that we can be heard on the proposal to amend the law. So join in: Every single vote counts.


Europe is also involved in this trade, whether by catching and processing sharks themselves or as a central transshipment point for fins from around the world.

Voluntary measures to restrict fishing are not to be expected. On the contrary, demand for the coveted fins is increasing. And where there is demand, there is profit.

The only real solution is appropriate and strict legislation. In 2013, first steps in this direction were taken by the EU. The “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation prohibits the storage, shipment, and landing of loose shark fins on EU vessels and in EU waters. The intention was twofold, to end the cruel practice of shark finning and to achieve a general reduction in European shark landings. 

The reality, however, is different. Although there was a brief decline in catches, targeted marketing of shark meat quickly brought them back to their original levels. As soon as the animals are landed, they can still legally have their fins removed. And as long as this and the trade in loose fins is allowed, Europe will continue to be one of the main transshipment points.

Another problem is the illegal wildlife trade in CITES-listed species. Without genetic analyses, it is almost impossible to determine the actual species from the severed fins. Transporting the entire carcass eliminates this problem.

The aim must be to extend the “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation to ban the complete import, transit and export of loose fins.


  • Support for Stop Finning — Stop the Trade
    Through our social media campaign “Not without You!” we plan to make the initiative widely known. The targeted cooperation with partners, celebrities and of course YOU will help!

  • Double the number of votes in Germany and Austria
    Our goal is to collect twice the number of votes needed for Germany und Austria. In total, we plan to reach 144,000 and 27,000 signatures respectively.


With the launch of the initiative, a 12-month period of collecting signatures began. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline has already been extended twice.

Signatures can now be registered until 31 January 2022.

If there is another extension, we will of course keep you up-to-date. 

Supporters and Sponsors

The German Postcode Lottery offers financial support for selected projects in the areas of climate protection, nature conservation, species protection and social measures. In 2021, funding was made available for the “Not without You!” campaign.


Votes can be cast directly at the EU Commission via the following link.

All EU citizens entitled to vote are eligible to vote. The minimum age in Germany is 18, in Austria 16.


The European Citizens' Initiative

Since 2012, EU citizens have the option to get personally involved in European legislation. Through an EU Citizens' Initiative, they can directly address the European Commission to propose concrete legislative adjustments.

As a first step, an organizers' group consisting of at least 7 EU citizens residing in 7 different EU countries is established. This group then registers the initiative and the proposed legislative change with the European Commission. However, not every initiative is accepted, because certain substantive and formal requirements have to be met.

As soon as the Commission gives its “go”, the collection of votes can begin. Within one year, at least 1 million votes must be collected. All EU citizens who are old enough to vote in European elections are eligible to vote. In Germany the minimum age is 18, in Austria 16.

Signatures can be submitted either online directly to the EU Commission or on paper. If the minimum number is reached within the deadline (and these votes stand up to scrutiny) the initiative is finally submitted. In the next step, representatives of the organizing group present the issue to the European Parliament in a public hearing.

The Commission is obliged to announce its further course of action or the rejection of the proposed legislative amendment no later than 6 months after the submission of the initiative. If the decision is positive, the initiative will now go through the relevant legislative procedure and hopefully end in an adjustment of the existing legal situation.

Here you can read the initial application, which was submitted to the EU Commission at the beginning of 2020: