Shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy served in restaurants around the world, may soon be banned in the city of Toronto because of the inhumane way the sharks are captured, killed, and de-finned. On Monday, three Toronto City Councillors began a campaign to put an end to shark fin soup in the city, with the goals of collecting 10,000 signatures to stand up for animal rights and endangered species.
Sharks in danger from soup
According to WildAid, 73 million sharks are slaughtered every year, just for their fins – a practice that is leading many shark species closer to extinction than ever before. Species of sharks that are most often caught for their fins are Tiger, Sawfish, Sandbar, Mako, Bull, and Hammerhead, although many other varieties are affected as well, including the Great White Shark and the Whale shark, both of which are endangered.
Check out the below PSA featuring Yao Ming, urging people to stop ordering shark fin soup:
Although 90 countries have made finning sharks illegal, there are no laws against trading shark fins.
Toronto’s proposed shark fin soup ban
Three of Toronto’s Councillors stepped up this week and took a stand against shark fin soup being served anywhere in the city. The Councillors, Kristyn Wong-Tam, John Parker, and Glenn De Baeremaeker, hope they set an example that is picked up by cities across Canada that also help preserve the lives of sharks by banning the soup.
However Toronto is not the first city to propose a ban on shark fin soup. In fact, one of Toronto’s neighbouring towns, Brantford, Ontario, became the first city to implement a ban on shark fin soup just earlier this month. This is a good sign for Toronto, and shows that there are many more people willing to stand up for animal rights, and help preserve shark populations by banning shark fin soup. The Councillors see a shark fin ban in Toronto as the first step towards rapid adoption of similar bans throughout Ontario, and eventually Canada.
If you live in the GTA, do what you can to support the petition from the Councillors – we will post more details as they are available – and if you live elsewhere, think about starting a similar petition in your town or city by reaching out to your Councillors. A little bit of effort could go a long way to saving these endangered species from an unnecessary death.