On Tuesday Canada passed the modernized Fisheries Act requiring plans to rebuild critically depleted fish populations to sustainable levels. The Act also bans the import and export of shark fins in Canada.
In Canada, only 34 percent of fish populations are healthy and more than 13 percent are critically depleted. Of 26 critically depleted stocks, only five have rebuilding plans, according to Oceana Canada. The new provisions help build healthy marine ecosystems while increasing economic opportunities and jobs in coastal communities.
The Act also bans importing and exporting shark fins in Canada. While the practice of shark finning has been banned since 1994, importing them was still legal. Canada imports nearly 170,000kg of shark fin a year, making it the biggest importer of fins outside of Asia.
The victory comes after the late Rob Stewart released award-winning, Sharkwater, followed by the launch of his #finfree campaign.
“The shark fin amendment bill is dedicated to Mr. Stewart’s life’s work to save sharks from extinction and to his memory,” Senator Peter Hader said.
Sharks have been swimming the world’s oceans for more than 400 million years yet fins from up to 73 million sharks are used in shark fin soup each year. If you’d like to support a similar ban in the U.S., you can sign the pledge to protect sharks and our oceans. Following the successful ban of shark fins in California, Florida is currently considering banning any trade in shark fins. If you live in Florida you can support the bill here.
WildAid is currently campaigning to reduce shark fin consumption around the world and to secure further restrictions to the global shark fin trade. Since initiating its shark fin campaign with Yao Ming in 2011, shark fin consumption has fallen by more than 80% in China. WildAid’s shark fin campaign in Thailand promotes weddings and other celebrations without shark fin while the campaign in Hong Kong SAR emphasizes the potential health risks of consuming shark fin.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $218 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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