Senator Michael L. MacDonald will table a bill to ban the importation of shark fins into Canada.
Each year 73 million sharks are killed to satisfy global demand for shark fin soup. The practice of shark finning has ravaged shark populations and is unspeakably cruel. When sharks are caught, their fins are hacked off and they are then dumped back in the water where they soon drown or bleed to death.
Shark finners use only about 2% of the animal.
“Shark finning is an inhumane and wasteful practice that is ravaging shark populations worldwide,” Senator MacDonald said. “Prohibiting the importation of shark fins would ensure that Canada is taking a leading role in ending this unsustainable practice.”
Shark finning has been banned in Canadian waters since 1994, but importing fins is still permitted. Shark finning is inconsistently regulated around the world so it is impossible to know whether imported fins entering Canada originate from sharks that were landed whole and not finned and discarded at sea.
A ban on shark fin imports will ensure Canada does not endorse this bloody practice. In 2015 alone, Canada imported 114,540 kg of shark fins. A single bowl of shark fin soup costs about $135.
Senator MacDonald expects to introduce his Senate Public Bill at first reading in the Senate later this week.