(SHARK FINNING) TORONTO — Add Toronto to the list of cities against shark finning! Though in strong opposition by the city’s Chinese community, Toronto city council recently voted overwhelmingly to ban the sale and possession of shark fins. Alongside Brantford, Oakville, and Mississauga, Toronto is the fourth city in Ontario to enact such a proposal. Read on for more details regarding the city’s new ban and hopes for municipal cities. Perhaps revealing photos of the Chinese shark fin industry in action will cause other regions to follow in Toronto’s footsteps. See how you can take action. —Global Animal
People gather outside Toronto City Hall ahead of a council vote on a proposed ban on the trade of shark fins. Photo Credit: CBC


Toronto city council has voted to ban the sale of shark fin in the city.

The ban, suggested by councillors John Parker, Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam, will outlaw the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins or their derivative products.

The proposal passed easily – by a vote of 38 to 4.

Shark fins are used in a soup that is often served at traditional Chinese weddings.

Those who support the ban say sharks are killed inhumanely and often thrown into the ocean alive after their fins are sliced off.

Those who opposed the ban say the soup is a traditional dish and insist the sharks are killed humanely.

Before the vote Mayor Rob Ford said he didn’t think it was the city’s responsibility to ban the sale of shark fins and that he wouldn’t support the motion.

“I don’t think it’s in our purview to do that,” he told CBC. “If other councillors want to do it it’s an open vote. It’s been going on for so long I don’t know why it’s an issue now.”

About 100 protesters showed up outside City Hall, claiming a ban would hurt the restaurant industry.

The proposed bylaw will ban any use of shark fin and will impose fines ranging from $5,000 for a first offence to $100,000 for a third offence.

Some critics have argued that imposing a ban in Toronto will not end the problem since customers who want to eat shark fin soup will just travel to another municipality that doesn’t have a ban.

They argue that the federal government needs to impose a national ban on the importation and consumption of shark fin.

Toronto is the fourth city in Ontario to enact a shark fin ban, joining Brantford, Oakville, and Mississauga.

More CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/