Ban Shark Fin Trade and Consumption in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Each year up to 73 million sharks are killed primarily for their fins, threatening open ocean sharks with extinction. Their fins are used in shark fin soup and other dishes.

Shark finning is an unsustainable, wasteful, and inhumane practice where sharks are finned alive or landed on fishing vessels, their fins sliced off and their bodies thrown back into the sea, to suffocate, bleed to death, or be eaten by other animals. By discarding the body and keeping the fins, fishermen kill far more sharks, making the hunting ruthlessly efficient.

Although sharks have existed for over 400 million years, in recent decades, many populations have faced steep declines due to rampant exploitation. Their slow reproductive rates make them extremely vulnerable to extinction. The disappearance of these apex predators causes dangerous imbalances in marine ecosystems worldwide. The decline in shark species will inevitably cascade through the food chain, leading to the loss of additional fish populations. Unless the rising demand for fins is curbed, shark populations and our ocean will be in great jeopardy. 

Given the myriad and unsustainable threats that sharks face, we must take action to ensure these animals will remain an integral part of our oceans. Eliminating the shark fin trade and consumption removes one of the biggest impediments to the continued survival of endangered shark species.

As noted by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam – City of Toronto, “Shark finning is a quickly fading Chinese cultural practice. It’s not cultural in any way, and if it was to be categorized as cultural, I can tell you there’re certain things that we would do culturally that we don’t do anymore - We no longer bind women’s feet in Chinese culture. We also don’t have multiple wives and that is not part of what Chinese culture is today.”

17 Canadian municipalities have already banned sale of shark fin and related products, including London, Newmarket, Oakville, Brantford and Pickering.

A ban of Shark fin trade and consumption is needed to ensure that our city does not continue to serve as a driving force behind the slaughter of sharks around the world.

Please pledge your support to end the trade and consumption of shark fins in the city of Richmond Hill!

Today, we can all lend a hand in helping our ocean and protect the remaining sharks that swim within them. Sign this petition to help keep them in the seas and out of our bowls. I am looking for 10,000 signatures, especially from local Richmond Hill city dwellers. Please sign and spread the word!

I will present this petition and signatures to the Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor Dave West.