Canada has become the very first G20 country to ban the shark fin trade, putting a stop to the import and export of shark fins.
It is hoped this bill, which received royal assent on Friday, will help to protect and preserve at risk species of shark.
Although shark finning in Canada’s domestic fisheries industry has been banned since 1994, the country is known to be the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia. This step forward marks the culmination of years of hard work on the part of campaigners and legislators.
As reported by BBC News, Canada imported more than 148,000 kg (326,000 lbs) of shark fins in 2018 alone.
The shark fin trade is thought to have contributed to the vulnerable status of many shark species throughout the world, with an estimated one-third of fins which are sold coming from at risk shark species.
On a global scale, it is estimated between 75 to 100 million sharks each year are killed for their fins, with the predators being unable to reproduce at the rate needed to keep up their numbers.
As reported by New Atlas, this positive announcement was made by the Minister of Fisheries, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, who has given the following statement:
Shark finning is an unquestionably destructive practice, which is contributing to the global decline of sharks and posing an ongoing threat to ocean ecosystems.
The new actions announced today are a clear example of Canadian leadership on the conservation of our ocean environment.
Shark fins are among the most expensive seafood items on earth, and are considered to be a delicacy in some countries. These fins are used in dishes such as shark fin soup, and is also an ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicines.
Shark finning is known to be an unusually cruel practice, which causes great suffering to sharks. As reported by The Guardian, fins are cut from the sharks while they are still alive before they are thrown back into water.
Well done to Canada for working towards the long-term protection of these fascinating ocean predators. Hopefully other countries will soon follow suit.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.