(Dec. 8, 2011) — Humane Society International (HSI) applauds the Honourable
Fin Donnelly, Member of Parliament and Fisheries and Oceans Critic for the New
Democratic Party of Canada for introducing federal legislation that would amend
the Fish Inspection Act to prohibit the import of shark fins into Canada. Bill
C-380 would prohibit importing or attempting to import shark fins that are not
attached to the rest of the shark carcass, and amend the Fisheries Act to
prohibit any person from engaging in the practice of shark finning in Canada
“Up to 73 million sharks are killed
every year to meet global demand for shark fins. Many have their fins sliced
off and are then tossed back into the ocean to suffer a painful death,” said
Sayara Thurston, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. “It is
time for Canada to stop importing this cruelty by supporting this historic step
to help end the international trade in shark fins.”
The legislation comes in the wake of
numerous municipal prohibitions in the trade of shark fins that have recently
passed in the cities of Brantford, London, Pickering and Toronto, Ontario.
Earlier this year, California became the fourth US state to ban the possession,
trade and sale of shark fins. In 2011, Taiwan announced that it would
implement a fins-naturally-attached policy to reduce shark catches beginning in
2012, and last month the European Union proposed legislation to ban the
practice of shark finning by EU vessels.
HSI believes this legislation is
a strong step towards ending the global trade in shark fin products, and calls
for bipartisan support to address this issue.
- The demand for shark fin
soup, coupled with unsustainable fishing methods, has led some shark
populations to decline by as much as 99% in recent decades.
- Every year, tens of millions
of sharks are killed solely for their fins, many of which are obtained
through “finning,” a practice which involves slicing off the fins of a
shark and discarding the animal at sea to drown, bleed to death, or be
eaten alive by other animals.
- Shark fin is often
the most expensive item on restaurant menus and typically served simply as a
symbol of status. It has no nutritional value and is the main driver of the
multi-billion dollar international shark fin trade.
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