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Vancouver council makes ‘historic’ move toward shark fin ban

September 24, 2012
"A prohibition on shark fin trade in Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby will be a monumental step forward in saving countless sharks from the cruel and ecologically devastating practice of shark finning,"
- Gabriel Wildgen, of Humane Society International/Canada

The City of Vancouver, BC will work with neighbouring municipalities to develop a ban on the sale of shark-fin products, mayor and council agreed Tuesday.

“This is not an attack on culture,” said Coun. Kerry Jang, who proposed the idea of a joint ban with Richmond and Burnaby on the controversial delicacy.

“Rather, it is a recognition of an ethical issue that effects all of us, no matter who you are.”

Within Chinese culture, serving shark fin has long been viewed as a means of honouring a special guest or occasion.

But with millions of sharks killed globally to support the tradition, Jang said it’s time the old ways were changed.

“There are so many ways to say to a guest ‘You are really special’ without having to eat this,” he said.

Under mounting public pressure, top restaurants around the world, including Hong Kong, have voluntarily removed shark-fin products from their menus. The Chinese government has also announced its intentions to phase out serving shark fin at official banquets within three years.

Locally, Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond have the largest number of businesses selling shark- fin products. All three municipalities have agreed to work together to support a ban.

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