Toronto Councillors Push for Ban on Shark Fins

Three Toronto councillors have proposed a ban on the sale of shark fin soup within the city. While local businesses say that a ban in one locality is unfair and will be ineffective, the councillors hope that the rest of the country will follow.

a snapshot of the video on the CTV page

The proposal follows a similar ban in Brantford, Ontario. If you are in Toronto, you can support the councillors’ efforts by signing the petition which has been co-organized by Rob Stewart, director of the award-winning movie Sharkwater and representatives of WildAid.

The following points in the CBC article from shark fin soup vendors show another side to this debate:

“Unless it’s nationwide legislation, I don’t see how it can effectively end the illegal shark hunting,” he said through a translator.

“Meanwhile, look at the food on our table. Can we guarantee every cow, chicken, pig, fish was not slaughtered inhumanely? Should the killing of these animals be all regulated?”

“If Toronto passes the bylaw, it simply means people will just cross the street to other cities like Markham, for shark fins,” said Ko, whose restaurant is located at the southeast corner of Steeles and Warden Avenues, on the northern limit of the City of Toronto and just south of Markham.

Ko estimates he could lose up to 50 per cent of his business if the ban is passed. A scan through the menus at some Toronto restaurants serving the item shows the prices for a small bowl of soup range from $25 to $100.

More on the proposed shark fin ban in Toronto on CBC News (source of the quoted content above) and this more recent Globe and Mail article on the effort to ban shark fins in Toronto.

As an aside, there is a follow-up Point of View (POV) segment where you can weigh in and share your feelings about shark finning and whether shark fins should be banned in Canada entirely.

Personally, I think banning them entirely will be the only way to have any effect on the stubborn purveyors of shark fin soup who feel they have no choice but to serve the product to their wanting patrons.

Special thanks to Anti-Shark contributor Janet Brunkhorst for giving me the heads up on this story. I am hoping Janet will be a permanent contributor to this site very soon.