Burnaby to ban shark fin trade 0
A rally was held outside Burnaby City Hall Monday to support a ban on shark fin soup. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
Burnaby City Council took steps this week to ban shark fin soup and join a growing number of Metro Vancouver municipalities eager to stop the sale of the controversial delicacy.
Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal proposed a motion that passed Monday asking city staff for guidance in pursuing the prohibition of shark fin use, after more than 60 people packed council chambers in support of a Vancouver Animal Defense League presentation.
Dhaliwal told 24 hours he supports barring the delicacy, but it's difficult for a bylaw to be effective since there's no way to enforce it.
As part of his motion, he asked city staff to research ways council could engage the federal and provincial governments on the matter and develop an enforceable ban.
VADL spokesman Anthony Marr said he grew up eating the soup, but never thought about its impacts.
He said harvesters tear the fins from sharks' bodies before releasing them back into the ocean where they can no longer swim or hunt. As the apex predators' numbers dwindle, lower-level predators will proliferate and reduce the number of fish.
"The cost in terms of ecology is enormous."
Marr said VADL next plans to address city councils in either Vancouver or Richmond and convince those municipalities to ban the sale and distribution of shark fins.
Port Moody and Coquitlam prohibited the soup in May, while North Vancouver passed a motion last week asking city staff to develop similar bylaws.
North Vancouver Coun. Craig Keating said he realized the ban would not have a huge impact on his community, but he's hoping for a domino effect around the province as more cities enact bans.