June 22, 2019 VICTORY- The bill banning the sale of shark fins in Canada was passed last week and received Royal Assent on Friday after years of hard work by legislators and campaigners. Thanks to MPs MacDonald and Donnelly for leading the charge to protect sharks from global decline. Shark Stewards is proud to have supported this through our youth chapter lead by Chinese -Canadian youth in Vancouver.
Driven largely by the shark fin trade and illegal fishing, over 100 million sharks and rays are killed each year up in the global fin trade. The process of shark finning is a fishing practice involving cutting the fins off the shark – often while still alive – and then tossing the shark back into the ocean where it either drowns, bleeds to death.
This cruel and wasteful practice is causing dangerous declines in many species of sharks and rays globally. Shark finning is illegal in Canadian waters. However, Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia and this demand is growing. According to Statistics Canada, more than 170,000kg of shark fins were imported in 2017 – a 60 % increase from the amount imported in 2012.
Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart exposed this trade to the world in his 2006 movie, Sharkwater. Rob died tragically but his parents and team produced Sharkwater Extinction to continue to fight shark finning and the illegal, and legal shark fin trade.
Over past years, Canadians have shown support for our government banning the trade of shark fins by passing city and provincial laws to ban shark fin.
In the spring of 2018, Bill S-238 was unanimously passed by the Senate Fisheries Committee, now, the House of Commons needs to pass it so that it can become law. We need your help to make sure Bill S-238 passes to keep Canada out of the cruel and inhumane shark fin trade.
Bill S-238, originally introduced by Senator MacDonald introduced will stop the import and export of shark fins in Canada. The Bill, introduced by Senator Michael MacDonald in 2017, passed by an overwhelming margin by the Senate in late October. Now lead by Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly, the Ban on Shark Fin Trade Act, Canada has now passed into the House of Commons.
Please join the youth of Shark Stewards Vancouver and add your name to our petition calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson to support the passage of Bill S-238 to end the import and export of shark fins.
About Shark Stewards Vancouver- We are youth, many of Chinese- Canadian descent- who care about ocean health and sharks and want to see the end of the shark fin trade to save sharks. Learn more at sharkstewards.org