December 6, 2012
HSl/Canada Renews Call for Federal Shark Fin Ban as New DNA Evidence Emerges
MONTREAL, Quebec — Humane Society International/Canada is renewing calls for Members of Parliament to support Bill C-380 to ban the import of shark fins into Canada in the wake of a CTV investigative report, which revealed 76 percent of samples from shark fins sold in Metro Vancouver originated from threatened species.
“The findings of the report reaffirms that Canada’s current laws don’t go far enough to ensure our country does not contribute to the brutal and unsustainable global shark fin industry,” said Gabriel Wildgen, campaigner for HSI/Canada. “We need a federal ban on shark fin trade, and we are encouraging all Canadians to write to their Members of Parliament to ask them to vote for Bill C-380 this winter.”
“This new evidence confirms Canada is importing fins from endangered and threatened species,” said Fin Donnelly, MP (New Westminster-Coquitlam & Port Moody). “Canada can play a lead role in curbing the illegal trade of shark fins by enacting my private member's bill (C-380) to ban the import of shark fins to Canada.”
“Now that there is unequivocal proof of endangered species being sold in Vancouver and Richmond, there is absolutely no reason why shark fin should continue to be sold,” said Vancouver City Councillor Kerry Jang. “All levels of government now have an obligation to end the import and sale across the country. As a city, we are moving towards a bylaw to remedy that.”
“This new evidence underscores the urgent need to stop shark fin trade in Canada, and why I am so disappointed with the recent court decision to strike down the Toronto shark fin ban,” said Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. “Toronto is a major distribution centre for shark fins in Canada, and there is huge public support for changing that, both in our city and across the country. The City is now looking into our legal options in response to that decision, including an appeal.”
Every year, tens of millions of sharks are killed solely for their fins, which are obtained through “finning,” a practice that often involves cutting off the fins of live 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.
The conservation status of sharks is determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which classifies 74 shark species as threatened, including all 14 shark species that are most actively targeted for the shark fin trade, and another 67 species as near threatened. Out of 141 threatened or near-threatened shark species listed by the IUCN, Canada protects only three them as result of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Fauna. Even for those three species, however, there is little to no enforcement of the relevant import restrictions in Canada.
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.
Media Contact: Dean Pogas, HSI/Canada: 514-261-6007/514-395-2914; firstname.lastname@example.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.