The European Commission is proposing to end a practice which results in the death of large quantities of sharks by prohibiting shark finning which involves the removal of fins and the discarding of the remainder of the shark at sea. The effects of this practice, encouraged by the strong international market that exists for shark fins, is having serious effects on several shark populations. The Commission proposes, therefore, to prohibit this practice within all EU waters and for all EU vessels wherever they fish beyond EU waters.