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Nanaimo latest B.C. municipality to ban shark fin

August 14, 2012
“Nanaimo is in a very strategic position to lead Vancouver Island in this charge,”
- activist Anthony Marr

B.C.’s anti-shark fin movement is gaining momentum as Nanaimo becomes the newest municipality to become fin-free.

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously to ban the trade, sale or distribution of shark fin Monday night.

“Nanaimo is in a very strategic position to lead Vancouver Island in this charge,” anti-shark fin activist Anthony Marr told council.

Scientists estimate about 73 million sharks are hunted annually for their fins. Shark finning involves slicing off the fins while the shark is still alive and then dumping the body back into the water.

The practice is banned in Canada, but there is no federal or provincial law banning the shark fin trade, leaving municipalities to decide on their own whether to outlaw the delicacy.

The problem is, said Marr, by the time shark fin arrives in Canada, processed and packaged, there is no way of knowing its origins, whether it was harvested from an endangered shark species, or whether it was harvested in Canadian waters.

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