Given the decision by Canada's federal government to support the shark finning business by defeating Bill C-380, British Columbia must act at once to block shark fins from entering Canada via its west coast.
California, Oregon, and Washington states have already made it illegal to trade, possess, or distribute shark fins, leaving British Columbia as the only remaining entry point for shark fins on the west coast of North America.
Across the Pacific Ocean the sharks inhabiting vast archipelagoes of islands are being massacred to supply the voracious market for the costly party soup across North America.
By halting this province’s contribution to the crisis, we will broadcast the strong message that British Columbia refuses to play a role in driving so many species of sharks to extinction.
The facts :
Shark fin soup is a vanity dish.
The monetary value is so high that much of the trade is in criminal hands.
The shark fin business shows no respect for other cultures, slaughtering sharks in incalculable numbers on the coast of every country with a tropical or temperate coastline, including countries in which sharks are held sacred, and regardless of legal protections.
Threats, intimidation and murder, especially of journalists and researchers are commonplace in the business.
In a protein starved world, the waste represented by cutting off only 3 percent of each of tens of millions of animals and discarding the rest, is indefensible.
Every second at least three sharks are finned for shark fin soup.
Between 63 and 273 million sharks slaughtered annually represents an unsustainable massacre that is driving one third of shark and ray species to extinction.
The destruction of endangered species is unacceptable under any pretext.
An oceanic crisis has been precipitated by the shark finning business. Shark populations world-wide have plummeted by 90 percent, with some populations at 1% of pre-1985 levels. The decline is comparable to the loss of buffalo from the great plains two hundred years ago, but on a global scale. The elimination of the top predators from all oceans will ultimately be reflected in comparable ecological upheavals world-wide; some are already apparent.
So we respectfully ask Premier Christy Clark, in concert with the government of British Columbia, to take leadership in this crisis, and close the door. Please act swiftly to block shark fins from entering the continent via British Columbia, and declare a total ban on the importation, exportation, possession and trade of shark fins in the province.