On Tuesday, June 18th, legislation was passed to ban the import and export of shark fins in Canada, becoming the first nation in the world to do so. The victory comes a little more than a decade after the late Rob Stewart released his first movie, Sharkwater, followed by the launch of his #finfree campaign.
The shark fin ban is a dream finally realized for Stewart’s vision in saving sharks from extinction. Beginning with his work on the award-winning Sharkwater, Rob Stewart worked tirelessly to help push for the protection and conservation of sharks. His work saw the campaign begin locally in municipalities, with an early victory in the city of Toronto when they passed a shark fin ban in 2011. His movie and his work eventually led to many countries banning shark fins.
Since then the campaign has only continued and expanded nationally. Thanks to the continued effort of his parents, Brian and Sandy Stewart, who took on the cause after his passing, the message has been heard loud and clear, especially through the launching of the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation.
“The shark fin amendment bill is dedicated to Mr. Stewart’s life’s work to save sharks from extinction and to his memory,” Senator Hader said.
The victory in Canada is a substantial one as the country imports roughly 170,000 kg of shark fins a year, making it the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.
If you’d like to see a similar ban pass in the U.S., click here to take action by signing the pledge to protect sharks and our oceans.
Rob Stewart’s legacy continues to live on with this historic ban, and through his 2018 sequel, Sharkwater: Extinction, which is now available to purchase through iTunes, and can be viewed on Crave TV in Canada and on Amazon Prime in the U.S., as well as many other countries around the world. ~Paolo Maquiraya