Green Party Leader Introduces Bill to End Shark Fin Trade in Canada
Victoria, British Columbia (April 19, 2012) – After working closely with
conservation group WildAid for the past 6 months, Canadian MP and Green Party Leader
Elizabeth May announced legislation on Wednesday that, if fully implemented, will amend
the Fish Inspection Act and Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act in the hopes of ending
the shark fin trade Canada.
“Elizabeth May’s bill is another key step in the growing campaign to address the global
shark fin trade,” said Rob Sinclair, Executive Director of WildAid Canada. “Her action
could effectively lead to end of the shark fin trade in Canada, which would be the first
federal shark fin ban in the western world.”
Should it pass, May’s bill will require shark products to include written documentation of
the species and country of origin, as well as a label showing that mercury contamination
may make the product unfit for human consumption.
Shark fin soup is a key reason why one-third of the world’s open-ocean shark species are
now threatened with extinction. Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used every year to
make shark fin soup and related food products.
While the practice of shark finning is prohibited by regulation in Canada and the U.S.,
current federal laws banning shark finning do not address the issue of the international
shark fin trade. Therefore, fins are being sold to North America from countries with few or
even no shark protection in place.
Over four million Canadians now live in jurisdictions that have banned shark fin. The
Canadian cities of Toronto, Mississauga, London, Oakville, Pickering, Newmarket and
Brantford have all ended the practice. U.S. state bans have passed recently in California,
Hawaii, Washington and Oregon and bans have been started in seven other states.
WildAid is the only organization to focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products
with the strong and simple message: when the buying stops, the killing can too. WildAid
works with Asian and Western celebrities and business leaders to dissuade people from
purchasing wildlife products via public service announcements and educational initiatives.
For more information, please visit http://www.wildaid.org/canada.