Toronto City Council votes yes to support the shark fin ban

Toronto City Council votes yes to support the shark fin banToronto 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.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. TheTruth • September 13, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

    @Jim If you’re referring to me, you should learn to read better. It’s not right to fin because it’s a part of culture or society. It’s wrong to try to take it away completely because it is a part of the culture and one’s history.

    @pang hoi yan It has been a part of Chinese history and thus culture for many many moons whether you choose to see it or not. Confucianism is not the way for everyone but practice of belief and way of thinking given as an alternative. Taoism says to go with the flow? Shark fins or not, isn’t adapting to times and technology in order to make a living “going with the flow”?

    @Diane how can you say “people like you all think…” and “learn the facts before you speak” to pang hoi yan, when they have taken the position that the practice of shark fin’ing is wrong? Maybe you should learn to read the facts before you go off in your rants. Oh and yea, Campbell’s soup is so healthy for you with all its 100% processed goodness. While you’re at it why don’t you have your Kraft dinner, hamburger helper, Chunky soup, and hungry man dinners.

  2. TheTruth • September 13, 2011 @ 11:55 AM

    @Mitch you’re not one of those people that believe everything they’ve seen because it was in a film labelled as a “documentary” are you? Yea everyone, Yao Ming is against shark fin’s which means its totally hasn’t been a part of Chinese history for longer than the Americas have been one unified nation!

  3. TheTruth • September 13, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

    To be honest, everyone here should really jump on the bandwagon of saving the peoples of third world countries who are dying everyday from war, hunger, and disease. Our efforts in that arena would have a direct impact on saving the lives of millions of people. That’s why we’re all in here posting about saving sharks right? To save the ecosystem thus saving the people and humanity? Or are we all the type to post what brave courageous people we are by supporting the ban of buying/selling/eating shark fin soup to save everyone, while all the people around the world are still dying…

    Anyone who is confused, as quoted from my first post,

    “1. I do agree that the cruelty of how shark fins are obtained should be stopped. Though, I do not agree with an outright ban.”

  4. Kat • September 13, 2011 @ 1:49 PM

    Asian people need to start finding alternative ingredients for their medicines and food. Using shark fins is rhidiculous also killing tigers for their medicines is causing tigers to go extinct and also they are massively killing dolphins and other large aquatic mammals for their meat that contain mercury in them and that should not even be consumed. What is their problem?? Do they not get it?? They don’t give a shit!

  5. Mick Dowers • September 13, 2011 @ 5:52 PM

    Great work Toronto City Council this provides a great precedent for me to pressure Australian politicians to follow your lead and bring an end to the shark fin industry in our country as well.

    Mick Dowers
    The Australian Anti Shark Finning Alliance

  6. Tom • September 15, 2011 @ 12:20 AM

    Amy how did this process stop the process of over whale fishing? Let the government have a chance, just because the Chinese government doesn’t care about whipping an animal off the planet doesn’t mean the world should.

  7. Bruce • September 15, 2011 @ 2:41 AM

    Tradition and culture should not come into the equation where conservation of the planet is concerned. The ramifications of taking the apex predator from the oceans are enormous. If culture had to form part of the argument, foot binding was a tradition in china but that has all but stopped due to many reasons. Preservation of the worlds oceans and one of the oldest animals on the planet seems a pretty good reason not to continue finning and to protect sharks.

  8. Mick Dowers • September 19, 2011 @ 2:54 AM

    @ Amy, Culture is simply NO excuse. It used to be part of the Roman culture to feed christians to lions, slavery used to be part of the Western world’s culture thank God both have been relegated to the history books. Do you advocate the return of these barbaric practices?

    Do you support so called ‘honor’ killings that are part of the culture of some Muslim countries?

    Can you at least see that ‘culture’ is no excuse for cruelty and unsustainable practicces? Shark finning is no different!

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