Shark Fin Distribution Banned in Ontario Town

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MISSISSAUGA — Mississauga City Council has voted to prohibit the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins and shark fin products, while calling on the federal government to follow suit.

“It’s a no brainer. This is slaughtering, it’s inhumane,” Mississauga councilor Pat Mullin, who initiated the ban, was quoted as saying in The National Post.

Shark fining is the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and throwing it back into the ocean alive. Shark fin soup, considered by many to be a delicacy, is commonly served at weddings and large functions in Asian communities. The soup has been the primary purpose behind the killing of an estimated 73 million sharks per year, according to Oceana, a marine conservation group. In one Toronto supermarket, the shark fins fetch up to $500 per pound.

The sale of shark fin has been barred in several countries and cities, including Honduras, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam. Here in Canada, the city of Brantford became the first in the country to make ownership, sale and trade of shark fins illegal. A similar ban is on the council agenda at Toronto City Hall this week.

Photo by Alex Hofford.

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