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October 25, 2012

Humane Society International/Canada Congratulates the City of Langley for Unanimously Passing Shark Fin Ban

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Langley joined the growing movement against shark fin trade in British Columbia and Canada. Iris Ho/HSI

LANGLEY, British Columbia — Humane Society International/Canada applauds the unanimous decision by the Langley City Council to ban the sale, purchase and consumption of shark fins, including shark fin derivatives. The decision comes in the lead up to a vote on the Second Reading of federal bill C-380 to ban the importation of shark fins to Canada.

“Shark finning is extremely cruel, and it is happening on such a large scale that ocean ecosystems are being decimated at an alarming rate,” said Gabriel Wildgen, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. “The City of Langley has taken a strong stand against the practice of shark finning and the unsustainable shark fin trade, and has sent a clear message to the federal government that our current import laws don’t go nearly far enough to protect sharks and our oceans.”

“It pleases me to know that so many Canadians are raising awareness and taking action to prevent this unnecessary cruelty,” said Councillor Rosemary Wallace, who introduced the motion to council in July and has been working to get it passed since. “I'm proud that the City of Langley unanimously banned the sale and consumption of shark fin. We can only hope to be an example for the rest of Canada.”

Canadians: Download our petitions [English French] in support of a ban.

Shark fins are often taken through a practice known as shark finning, which involves cutting the fins off living sharks and throwing the animal back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death.

There are 15 Canadian municipalities that have banned the sale of shark fin products: Abbotsford, Brantford, Coquitlam, Langley, Township of Langley, London, Maple Ridge, Mississauga, Nanaimo, Newmarket, North Vancouver, Oakville, Pickering, Port Moody and Toronto.

HSI/Canada is urging all Canadians to sign the petition in support of federal bill C-380 to ban the import of shark fins into Canada and to write to their members of parliament asking them to advance the bill.  


Facts:

  • In November 2011, Fin Donnelly, Member of Parliament, introduced Private Member’s Bill C-380, which would prohibit the import of shark fins into Canada. Members of Parliament will vote on the bill in either late 2012 or early 2013.
  • Sharks are apex predators whose survival affects all other marine species and entire ocean ecosystems.
  • The fins from as many as 73 million sharks are used to feed the growing demand for shark fin products each year.
  • In 2009 alone, Canada imported 77 000 kilograms of shark fins.
  • Unlike other fish species, sharks produce very few young and mature slowly and, consequently, overexploited populations can take years or even decades to recover.
  • Several states in the United States and the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have banned the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.
  • Shark fin products are primarily served in a soup broth at Chinese banquets, such as weddings. The demand for this dish, coupled with unsustainable fishing methods, have led some shark populations to decline by as much as 99 percent in recent decades.

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas, HSI/Canada: 514-261-6007/514-395-2914; dpogas@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents globally. On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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