WildAid Canada welcomes the news that the Town of Oakville has, by a vote of 7-0 last night, banned the sale and possession of shark fin and related products.
The shark fin ban was proposed this June and received unanimous support from the Oakville Council, who agreed to draft and vote on a new bylaw by the end of the year. The Council’s decision to adopt a motion to draft a banning bylaw sparked confusion among many reporters, who misconstrued this as Oakville’s official passing of the shark fin ban this July.
With Oakville’s support of the shark fin ban, over 10% of Canada’s population has now taken action on this international conservation issue in less than five months.
“Oakville’s action is a critical step in the growing campaign to address the global problem of the shark fin trade,” said Rob Sinclair, Executive Director of WildAid Canada.
Consumer demand for shark fin products is driving shark populations into rapid decline, with now one-third of the world’s shark species threatened with extinction. Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used every year to make shark fin soup.
“We need federal action on this conservation crisis to halt the growing threat to dozens of shark species targeted by the fin trade,” added Mr. Sinclair.
While the practice of shark finning is against regulations in Canada and the U.S., current Canadian laws do not formally prohibit it or address the issue of the shark fin trade. Federal jurisdiction can limit shark fin imports, whereas provincial and municipal legislation can only ban the sale, possession and trade of shark fins. Without federal support, fins continue to be imported to North America from countries with few or even no shark protections in place.
Bans on shark fin have passed recently in California, Hawaii, Oregon and the state of Washington and in the Ontario cites of Toronto, Mississauga, Pickering and Brantford.
For more information, please visit WildAid's shark page.