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.