Vancouver city council votes in favour of developing regional ban on shark-fin products
Vancouver council has directed staff to work with the cities of Richmond and Burnaby on developing a regional ban on the sale of shark-fin products.
In a unanimous vote by council today, staff were instructed to develop a “common approach” with the other two cities, and to report back on the options.
“It’s impossible to ban shark fin only in the city of Vancouver, simply because people will cross the Knight Street Bridge and go to Richmond, and Richmond the same thing—well if we ban in Richmond, people will just cross the Knight Street Bridge back to Vancouver, or maybe they’ll go out to Surrey or they’ll go out to Burnaby or somewhere else,” said Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang, who introduced the motion today (September 18).
“In this way, we can actually make a big impact in reducing the demand in this country for shark-fin products and help save the shark species.”
Jang noted shark fin has a “revered place” in Chinese culture.
“In the ancient days, this was used to honour your guests,” he said. “However, times have changed. You don’t have to serve shark fin to honour your guests.”
Other cities in the region that have recently banned shark-fin products include Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Port Moody and Maple Ridge.
Jang noted the intent of his motion is not to go as far as banning the possession of shark fin, but to prohibit future sales and trade of the product.
While he said there’s no specific timeline, he estimated it could take about a year before staff report back to council with potential bylaws and an approach for implementing a ban.
The motion was passed during city council's first meeting since its summer break today.