City Councillors Join MP's Call on Federal Government to Adopt Shark Fin Import Ban

VICTORIA - Today, municipal councillors from British Columbia joined MP Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam) in calling on the Conservative government to adopt legislation to prohibit the import of illegally-harvested shark fin to Canada (Bill C-380).

“Cities across Canada are taking action to protect sharks; it's time the federal government does the same,” said Donnelly. “The loss of sharks is a global conservation crisis requiring national attention; Canada must do what it can to fight against the international trade of shark fins which is driving the illegal and harmful practice of shark finning."

There is a motion at the Union of BC Municipalities urging senior levels of government to ban shark fin. Six municipalities in British Columbia have passed motions to prohibit the possession, trade, sale and distribution of shark fin products in their city, including Coquitlam, Nanaimo and Port Moody.

“Overfishing is the real problem. We must reduce demand and bans are the only effective tool we have given the lack of any Federal regulations,” said Kerry Jang, Vancouver City Councillor. “Banning shark fin is not an issue of culture, but an ethical one that affects everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what culture you belong to.”

Last week, Vancouver City Council passed an unanimous motion directing staff to work with their neighbours, Richmond and Burnaby, on a regional ban. Similar bans have been approved in the Cities of Brantford, London, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Pickering and Toronto. Other Canadian cities, including Calgary, are in the process of implementing shark fin bans.

"I am pleased that so many communities are joining Port Moody in banning shark fins,” said Rick Glumac, city councillor. “The momentum is growing behind this important issue and I am hopeful that this will lead to a national ban."

"The UBCM resolution will send a strong message to the provincial and federal governments that Canadians want to see the trade in shark fins ended," said Gabriel Wildgen, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. "We urge city councillors to pass this important resolution and for all Canadians to support federal private member's bill-C380 to ban the import of shark fins into this country."