An NDP MP named Fin has plunged into the push to ban shark fin imports in Canada and to impose a legal ban.
Fin Donnelly, who hails from British Columbia, said he is “hopeful” his private member’s bill – the Ban on Shark Fin Importation Act – will receive enough support from Conservative MPs. It is now up for debate at second reading in the Commons.
Opposition parties have already signalled support for the legislation.
Donnelly says the government enacted a prohibition on shark finning in 1994 – which restricts the practice within Canadian waters – but he says additional steps need to be taken to tackle a practice which contributes to an estimated 73 million global shark deaths annually.
“We want to see a legal ban of finning in Canada and then…we want to say we are not going to accept illegal shark fins into the country,” he said.
Humane Society International/Canada characterizes shark finning as a “brutal” practice where fins of sharks are removed and the animal is dumped back into the ocean alive. Sharks often subsequently die a “slow and painful death” from suffocation and attacks from other species.
“We know that shark fins from threatened and endangered species are still getting into Canada,” said society spokesman Gabriel Wildgen. “We are hoping the government will allow its MPs to vote individually on their conscience.”
Shark fin soup is regarded as a delicacy in the Chinese community but renowned chef Gordon Ramsay has lead a push for its removal from menus due to shark finning concerns.