New Democrats Launch Petition to Raise Awareness of Plummeting Shark Populations

New Democrat Fisheries and Oceans Critic MP Fin Donnelly was joined today by award-winning director of Sharkwater, Rob Stewart, Shark Truth founder Claudia Li and UBC Marine Biologist, Dr. Harvey-Clark at ‘C’ Restaurant to launch a petition campaign calling on the federal government to ban the import of shark fin to Canada.

“Shark populations are plummeting around the world,” said Donnelly, “An import ban would draw needed attention to this crisis and help protect them."

"The Canadian government must take a stand and adopt legislation that will protect sharks and promote international ocean stewardship," added Donnelly. "I am launching this petition campaign today to capture public support for this issue.”

Millions of sharks are killed every year, primarily for their fins, shrinking the international shark population and resulting in the near-extinction of numerous species.

“With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, legislation to ban importation to Canada and a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart. “Banning ivory nationally and its trade internationally, protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will take a leadership role in global marine stewardship and give sharks a much-needed chance to recover.”

Awareness of the issue is growing, with districts across North America implementing bans on shark fin, most recently the cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Pickering and Brantford in Ontario banned shark fins.

"The volume and rate that sharks are being harvested show the strip mining occurring in our oceans,” said Li. “We urgently need legislation to protect shark populations that are being killed mostly for their fins."

If you would like to get involved or find out more about this campaign, visit: www.FinDonnelly.ca.