Vancouver city council set to consider regional ban on shark-fin products


City council will debate a motion during its first fall meeting next week that could see Vancouver coordinate with two other municipalities to develop a regional ban on the sale of shark-fin products.

The motion set to be introduced by Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang next Tuesday (September 18) calls for staff to work directly with the cities of Richmond and Burnaby to develop a “common approach” to ban the sale of shark fin.

“Certainly Gregor [Robertson], myself, Vision Vancouver’s always been in favour of a regional ban, and of course if only one city bans it they just go to the next one to get it so you don’t gain anything,” Jang told the Straight by phone. “That’s why it was important for us to have all three cities working together.”

Jang noted that top restaurants throughout the world, including Hong Kong, are voluntarily taking shark-fin products off their menus.

The motion, which will be seconded by Vision Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie, calls shark finning an “inhuman practice” involving the removal of the fin and discarding of the shark into the ocean while it is still alive.

“Each year, up to 73 million sharks are killed primarily for their fins, threatening one-third of open ocean sharks with extinction,” the motion reads.

The local ban would likely be phased in, according to Jang, to allow restaurants and businesses that already have the products to use them.

“What we want to make sure is if you currently have it in stock that you’re able to use it up so you don’t lose money,” he said.

One issue that staff will explore, he noted, is how the ban could be enforced over the three municipalities.

Other cities that have recently voted in favour of a ban related to shark-fin products include Port Moody, Coquitlam, North Vancouver and Maple Ridge.

Comments (9) Add New Comment
to bad it needs to be banned and those that eat it dont have the brain power to simply stop eating it on their own. Its sickening to think that they are more concerned with the "status" of eating it rather then the impact it has on the animal and eco system. Im not a vegetarian, but I certainly wouldnt eat steak if they only cut a single steak out of a whole call while it was alive and left hit there ti bleed and die.

I guess its just a small window into a much larger disgusting picture of the people who eat it.
Rating: +5
Good for Dr. Kerry Jang for proposing this motion!
Rating: 0
But it's okay to only eat chicken breast and other selected parts of the cow and pig.
Rating: +9
I brought this up during the election and got shot down buy Vision types as unpracticle, amazing how being elected and not fearing for your job anytime soon can change things.

How about some REAL leadership here. Firstly the mayor was against a ban now it seems it's popular to want a ban so he jumps the bandwagon . Vancouver should take some leadership and ban the sale of shark fin immediately within City limits and work with other municipalities to ban it as well.

I appreciate cultural sensitivity but we used to sacrifice people to the gods years ago & we don't do that anymore. Sometimes it's just time for things to go away and to do that take leadership and courage.

Besides... it's right for the enviroment and the species and would go a small way to ending a totally abborhent, inhumane, disgusting practice.

Rating: +1
Simple Little Fishing Village
Shocking that it's 2012 & this is only in the baby-stages of coming to fruition now ...
Rating: 0
the problem with food bans by city hall is it's outside of their jurisdiction. where does bans end. Does city council want to ban meat, ban pork, ban salmo because a few nuts think it's 'disgusting' or ban homosexuals, ban smoking too. oh yeah it's already banned, smoking is banned. There is has to be reason for a ban after research and whether it's a problem. The fact is nobody cares if it's banned as 99% of the people don't eat shark fin it's delicacy and rarely is it served. So a few nuts or environmentalist wasting city halls time debating this garbage.
Rating: +2
Save Vancouver
Vancouver's Mayor and Council were elected to govern Vancouver, not Richmond or Burnaby. Just ban shark fins now and stop hiding behind two other municipalities.
Rating: +11
Step Back
Isn't a bit racist to ban this culturally import dish but turn a blind eye when another culture wants to hunt whales, bears, and endangered fish.
Rating: -3
There should be an education compaign like they did with drinking and driving. It's difficult to enforce a ban and makes people try to circumvent it more. But if you educate enough people, the demand drops. You can also get federal government to ban it so then it can't be imported so it can't get through the borders.
Rating: +8
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