Canada Shark Fin Bill Defeated!

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A proposal that would have banned shark fin imports in Canada has been defeated.  Federal politicians voted 143 to 138 against C-380, the private member’s bill by New Westminster-Coquitlam NDP MP Fin Donnelly. Although Donnelly managed to win over some Conservative government MPs, the bill did not receive enough votes to pass a second reading and move to a House of Commons committee. An estimated 100 tons of shark fins are imported into Canada annually.  Marley Daviduk of the Vancouver Animal Defense League said, “So far this year, more than 71,000 kilograms have been imported, and it's impossible to determine what fins have been harvested legally.” And she noted, “There's "no such thing as sustainably harvesting a species that's 90 per cent gone." In August, when Daviduk asked David Chung, president of the B.C. Asian Restaurant and Cafe Owners Association and owner of The Jade Restaurant, to provide fin samples to test if they were from endangered species, he refused.

“I hope the government will take immediate action to restrict the importation of shark fins to Canada,” said Donnelly in a statement following the March 27 vote. Donnelly noted "tens of thousands" of Canadians have signed petitions supporting his bill, adding a 2011 Mustel Group poll of 500 British Columbians found 83 per cent opposed shark fin imports.