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.