Ban the Cruel Sale & Trade of Shark Fins
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Did you know that although the practice of shark finning was banned in Canada in 1994, our country is currently the second largest importer of shark fins and shark fin products, following Southeast Asia? It was shocking for me to find out that the import, possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins and shark fin products are completely legal in Delta, British Columbia.
Why should we care? Shark finning is cruel. It consists in the removal and retention of shark fins once the shark has been fished from the ocean, usually caught using an inhumane method. Once the fins have been sliced from the body, the carcass is discarded back into the water, often while the shark is still alive. Sharks receive oxygen as water passes through their gills. Therefore a shark must be moving forwards in order to breathe. They are thrown back into the ocean to suffocate, or to slowly bleed out. Whichever happens first.
Sharks are more vital to our marine ecosystems than you may think. They actively maintain the species below them which in turn maintains the seagrass and coral reef habitats. Without sharks to prey on large fish (such as groupers) the populations of these fish will sky rocket and in turn they will over-prey on the smaller fish. The smaller fish are extremely important in ensuring the survival of the reefs as well as the entire oceanic ecosystem. Also, a dramatic drop in shark populations can ultimately reduce the numbers of phytoplankton, which produce more than HALF of the world’s oxygen. Without sharks, this system will collapse and humans will be greatly affected by it.
The shark fin trade is both a national and global epidemic. There are 141 threatened or near threatened shark species in the world and only 3 of them are protected by Canadian federal laws. Although in 2013 the Delta Council set a clear position against the import and sale of shark fin, we are still supporting the killing of endangered sharks in our oceans by not having a bylaw in place to properly prohibit these sales.
Join me now in asking that a bylaw be implemented in Delta to prohibit the sale and trade of shark fin. I have begun surveying local businesses on this matter and so far 100% of the businesses I have spoken to support a bylaw being put in place. A number of municipalities in BC have already committed to banning shark fin products, putting animal and environmental rights before profits. Together we can approach both the provincial and federal governments as a united front to stop the import of shark fins, as well as help to save our world’s oceans.
This is something that I may be starting on my own, but it is not something I can finish on my own. I need all of your support, whether you’re from Delta or not, whether you’re from Canada, Australia, or anywhere else in the world. Please sign and share this petition.
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