B.C. MP diving in to ban shark fin imports

The Province, 17 September 2011 By Staff Reporter

NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Fin Donnelly intends to introduce federal legislation this fall to ban the import of shark fin into Canada.

Donnelly, the MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody, said the legislation, if passed, should help to curb the controversial practice known as shark finning.

Shark finning is a process where the fin is sliced off the shark while it’s still alive. The body is dumped back into the water and the animal is left to bleed to death.

The fin is used predominantly in shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy dating back centuries. Activists believe demand for the product is the reason why one-third of the world’s shark population is endangered.

Shark finning is illegal in Canada and the U.S. but current laws don’t address the issue of importing shark fin. As a result, it is brought into North America from other countries with little or no shark protection laws in place.

Donnelly said he’s already embarked on a consultation process with business associations on both coasts for input on the proposed legislation to make sure it addresses all necessary points.

© The Province