shark fin ban

Canada just banned the import and export of shark fins

The Canadian government banned the import and export of shark fins yesterday.

For over a decade, Toronto city council has been fighting for this legislation.

Canada is one of the largest shark fin importers outside of Asia, bringing in almost 170,000 kilograms a year.

Fins from approximately 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year, which includes endangered species.

“Today is a great day for our oceans. The overhauled Fisheries Act has the potential to be one of the most transformative things that has happened for our oceans in many years,” Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada, said.

Rob Stewart, a biologist, conservation activist and filmmaker from Toronto, was one of the first to bring attention to shark finning in his documentary Sharkwater in 2006. Since then, many countries have banned shark finning.

Stewart died during a scuba diving incident in 2017. His parents and Toronto city council members pushed for this legislation partially in his honour.

This modernized Fisheries Act also implemented rebuilding plans for depleted fish populations for the first time since 1868. In Canada, only 34 per cent of fish populations are healthy and more than 13 per cent are critically depleted.

Lead photo by

Oceana Canada/Carlos Suarez


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