High Court upholds ban on shark fin export

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld the Union government’s ban on export of shark fins.

Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque upheld the Centre’s decision while dismissing a writ petition filed by Bijumon of Kochi, a seafood exporter.

The court observed that the Centre had deliberated the issue and relevant factors had been taken into account before taking the decision.

The policymaker might have thought that after the ban, the necessity of capturing sharks would dwindle and it might achieve the objective of protecting marine environment. The objective could not be termed irrational.

The court could not embark upon any enquiry to find out whether this would yield any desired results or not. Therefore, there was no scope for the court to sit upon the wisdom of the policymaker.


N. Nagaresh, Assistant Solicitor General of India, submitted that fishermen were involved in the gruesome practice of finning, resulting in the decline of shark population.

The decision to ban shark finning was taken with a view to preventing further degradation of marine environment.

John Varghese, Senior Standing Counsel for the Central Board of Excise and Customs, submitted that there was no fundamental right to export any commodities by a citizen and therefore, the court could not interfere with the policy of the Centre.

Commercial value

The petitioner pointed out that prohibition of shark finning was without any basis. The ban order had nothing to do with the marine fish conservation.

Dried shark fins were widely available in the State for domestic use. Besides, there was no ban on capturing sharks and domestic consumption of sharks.

The shark fins had a greater commercial value in foreign markets, especially in the South-East Asian countries, as they were used for cooking and medicinal purposes, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 8:22:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/high-court-upholds-ban-on-shark-fin-export/article8333982.ece

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