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December 3, 2012

HSI/Canada Congratulates the City of Duncan for Unanimously Passing Shark Fin Ban

Humane Society International/Canada

DUNCAN, British Columbia — Humane Society International/Canada congratulates the unanimous decision by the City Council of Duncan to ban the sale of shark fins, which will come into effect on Jan.1, 2013. With Duncan, there are now 12 municipalities that have passed shark fin bans in 2012 alone, bringing the total number in Canada up to 16.

"The City of Duncan has taken a stand against cruelty and one of the biggest threats facing our ocean ecosystems," said Gabriel Wildgen, campaigner for HSI/Canada. "As shark populations continue their rapid decline, the need for urgent action from all levels of government is greater than ever. We encourage all Canadians to ask their Members of Parliament to support a federal ban on the import of shark fins into Canada."

Shark finning is a practice that involves cutting the fins off living sharks and then throwing the animals back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death. Tens of millions of sharks are killed every year to feed the global demand for shark fin soup.

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 vote in favour of the Bill this winter.

Facts:

  • In November 2011, Fin Donnelly, MP, introduced Bill C-380, which would prohibit the import of shark fins into Canada. Members of Parliament will vote on whether to advance the bill in the coming months.
  • There are now 16 Canadian municipalities that have banned the sale of shark fin products: Abbotsford, Brantford, Coquitlam, Duncan, City of Langley, Township of Langley, London, Maple Ridge, Mississauga, Nanaimo, Newmarket, North Vancouver, Oakville, Pickering, Port Moody and White Rock.
  • Sharks are apex predators whose survival affects all other marine species and entire ocean ecosystems.
  • As of September, Canada had imported more than 77,000 kilograms of shark fins in 2012 alone. 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 U.S. 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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