A Calgary group is pushing the city to ban shark fin soup, a move Toronto’s city council made on Tuesday.
Advocates with Shark Fin Free Calgary are asking council to look at banning the delicacy in restaurants, which they say is inhumane and unsustainable.
"You know you’re having all these sharks killed just for their fins. And sharks are very important to the ecosystems. It’s an environmental catastrophe just for a bowl of soup," said group spokeswoman Tamara Chik.
"It’s done by an act called ‘shark finning’ where sharks are caught and their fins are cut off, bodies are discarded back to the ocean and they're still alive," she said.
According to Chik’s group about 30 Calgary restaurants serve the soup — which is seen as a status-symbol — including Silver Dragon in Chinatown.
The manager declined to be interviewed, but he said the $28-a-bowl soup is a popular item. It is a staple at weddings.
Marcus Cheug, who has eaten shark fin soup on a few occasions, said he has mixed feelings about the debate.
"I think it’s a real culture shock to … Chinese people," he said. "For Chinese culture eating fish fins has a really long history," he said.
Shark Fin Free Calgary has started a petition asking city council to impose a ban on the soup.
In Toronto councillors voted 38 to 4 in favour of a ban.