A Toronto City Councillor is moving to ban shark fin in the city as a direct result of a similar by-law recently passed by the City of Brantford. Councillor Glen De Baermaker, a member of Toronto’s Licensing and Standards Committee, said yesterday:
“Brantford is the first municipality in Canada, I say congratulations to them, they did a wonderful thing. I’ll be moving a notice of motion at the June Toronto Council meeting to follow their lead,” in an interview aired Monday evening on Global TV News.
Brantford City Council unanimously passed a bylaw May 24th banning the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin. This makes it the first municipality in North America to do so. The bylaw helps protect shark populations, which are being decimated in the world’s oceans because of a global upsurge in the demand for shark fin, used in shark fin soup and other food items. Many species of shark are threatened with extinction in the next 12 to 15 years, which could lead to an ecological crisis.
WildAid Canada representative Phil Gillies, a former Brantford MPP, proposed the by-law at a Brantford Council meeting on May 16th. The shark fin ban was co-sponsored by Councillors Dan McCreary, John Utley and Dave Neumann. The initiative had strong support from Brantford Mayor Chris Friel.
“We had hoped that the Brantford bylaw would lead to large cities and provinces following suit to help us move closer to ending the wasteful and unnecessary depletion of our ocean’s top predators,” said Rob Sinclair, Executive Director of WildAid Canada.
“Brantford led the way on this looming ecological crisis and set an example for other towns and cities throughout the world. Now Toronto is moving in the same direction. This is exactly what we hoped for,” added Gillies.
Up to 73 million sharks are slaughtered every year to make shark fin soup and related food products. Captured at sea and hauled on deck, the sharks are often still alive while their fins are sliced off and the remainder of the animal is thrown back into the water to die. Shark meat is not considered to be healthy for human consumption as it usually contains high levels of mercury and other toxins.
B-roll available on request, contact:
Rob Sinclair 416-890-5616
Audrey Bankley 416-732-1941
Phil Gillies 647-385-8474
WildAid Canada Society, B-162 John St., Toronto, ON., M5V 2E5, 647-348-WILD