Toronto City Council vote unanimously to support the ban on the sale and consumption of shark fins. Many concerned people, including celebrities, shared their opinions on the inhumane methods of finning sharks.
TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, told the committee that he has gone swimming in waters where sharks live many times without incident. He informed the council that more than 70 million sharks are killed each year, telling them, “We have the opportunity now, like in California, and soon the rest of the world we hope, and like the whales before, to stop the slaughter of sharks.”
Some members of the Asian community spoke against the ban, but award-winning Sharkwater director Rob Stewart said that killing elephants for ivory and eating panda bears have been banned in an effort to save the planet, and shark finning should also be banned for the same reason, he said, noting, “especially on the planet we exist today, it needs to change.”
The final bylaw to ban the sale of shark fins will likely be voted on in October.
Hawaii, Oregon, California, Saipan, Guam, and Brantford ON have all passed legislation to ban the sale of shark fins. High profile supporters of the shark fin ban include Edward Norton, Ian Somerhalder, Ke$ha, Kristen Bell, Ben Stiller, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Vartan, Megan Fox, Paul Rudd, Yao Ming, Ang Lee, Michael Sheen and Gordon Ramsay.
Many people believe shark fining to be an evil practice; sharks are pulled out of the water where their fins are removed, the mangled body is then tossed back in to the ocean and left to die slowly over a period of days. The fins are then used as an essentially flavourless ingredient in shark fin soup. This practice is one of the main causes for the rapid extinction of numerous shark species.