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The topic of shark finning is heating up around the world – including Ottawa. Thanks to recent landmark legislation in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London banning the sale and possession of shark fin, over 10% of Canadian residents live in municipalities in which shark fin is now illegal. And supporters are hoping Canada will soon become the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins in an attempt to address plummeting shark populations worldwide. On Wednesday, February 29th, M.P.s and senators have a unique opportunity to get educated on the issues facing sharks. To grow Canadian support for sharks across all parties, conservative M.P. Terence Young is hosting a private screening of the award-winning documentary, Sharkwater, near Parliament Hill. Toronto native, director and star of the film, Rob Stewart, will introduce the film and also host a discussion immediately following. The highly acclaimed Sharkwater has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks and inspired a global movement to save them.
Filmed in visually stunning high definition video, Sharkwater captures Stewart’s riveting journey throughout 15 countries and exposes his shocking discoveries in the world of shark finning. The film’s popularity has been the catalyst for the international Fin Free movement and has helped create environmental reform in over 30 countries.
“With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart. “Banning ivory protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will give sharks a much needed chance to recover.”
In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Stewart, and his organization, United Conservationists who launched the Fin Free campaign, believe focusing on reducing demand for shark fin through bans is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks – who play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy - from extinction. Stewart and his team will be available prior to the film for questions from the press as well: 395 Wellington (library and Archives Canada), 7:00 pm
Christine Barisheff, TypeA Consulting,Inc. Julie Andersen
Christine [at] typeaconsult [dot] com julie [at] unitedconservationists [dot] org
Today in the House of Commons, MP Fin Donnelly, NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, announced the introduction of Bill C380 which would ban the import of shark fin into Canada. This landmark legislation will make Canada the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins and aims to inspire other countries to follow suit to address plummeting shark populations worldwide.
“It's time for the federal government to listen to their municipal counterparts and take action,” said Donnelly. “They can demonstrate real leadership on this global issue and institute an import ban of shark fins to Canada.”
Donnelly recently launched a federal petition to support the bill in Vancouver with Rob Stewart, whose film, Sharkwater, has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks. “With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart. “Banning ivory protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will give sharks a much needed chance to recover.”
This year, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, London and Toronto, Ontario have all banned the sale and possession of shark fin in their municipalities. The federal import bill will help prevent international trade of shark fin, where illegally sourced fins are abundant and difficult to detect.>/p>
“With Toronto's recent ban, over 4 million people in Canada are already Fin Free, and we believe this movement will continue to spread not only through Canada, but the rest of the world,” says Julie Andersen, Executive Director of United Conservationists and founder of Shark Angels. Having spent the last four years in the field documenting the unsustainable, often illegal and inhumane practice of shark finning, Andersen agrees with Stewart and Donnelly that bans on shark fin are desperately needed to make a quick impact on decimated shark populations that play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy.
In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Focusing on reducing demand for shark fin through bans is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks from extinction.
Fin Free London & Pickering urgently needs your help!
Sharks need your help. Two towns have motions coming in front of council tomorrow - November 21st in Ontario, Canada, and we need a final push from everyone. No matter where you live.
On the heels of the landmark legislation in California, and now Mississauga Ontario, a team of lawmakers, conservationists and citizens (“Fin Free”) are leading the grassroots movement to forward the motion to ban the sale and possession of shark fins in Toronto. With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins and some regional populations down by 98%, this campaign could establish Canada as a leader for shark conservation worldwide.
On October 13th, the Licensing and Standards Committee will meet at City Hall where they will present a recommendation for Toronto City Council to request that the Federal Government introduce import regulations on shark fins. While the FinFree team agrees Federal action is in order, Toronto can and should take action now to help protect shark populations. This is the public’s final opportunity to address the issue here in Toronto, and a showdown bewteen advocates and opposition is set to play itself out Thursday at 9:30am in Committee Room 1.
Rob Stewart – Sharkwater, United Conservationists
Rob Sinclair – WildAid Canada
Les Stroud – Survivorman
Julie Andersen – Shark Angels
Ahead of the Licensing and Standards Committee meeting, the Fin Free team will reveal its national strategy to support the ban the import of shark fin in Canada
as announced by MP Fin Donnelly last month in Toronto. Interviews with key Fin Free team members can also occur.
Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 9:00am EST
At Winston Churchill statue, south west corner of Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto CANADA
Attention United Conservationists, it's time to have some fun! Join Rob Stewart, award-winning filmmaker of SHARKWATER and innovative conservationist, as he leads the movement to make Canada FIN FREE – rallying for landmark legislation to save sharks by making the trade of their valuable fins illegal. Attend the event.