Shark fin soup: Should the delicacy be banned in Canada?
Shark fins are a common site in Chinatown stores in North America. In San Francisco, they sell for about $200 US a pound. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)
A battle between food ethics and traditional culture is brewing in Toronto with a proposed ban on shark fin soup.
Toronto city councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker is proposing a ban on the delicacy, which is a fixture at Chinese wedding banquets and other significant events.
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam says she used to eat the fins, but her family stopped consuming them 10 years ago after they learned shark fishing was unsustainable.
De Baeremaeker's proposal comes about one month after Brantford, Ont., became the first Canadian city to ban shark fin.
Marine conservation group Oceana estimates up to 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily for their fins. As a result, some populations have plummeted by as much as 83 per cent, the group says.
Some members of the CBC Community say a citywide ban doesn't go far enough.
"Shark fins for shark fin soup, etc should be banned from coast to coast," wrote jdoe@08.
CBC Community member walkafish said a city's ban on shark fin soup could be easily thwarted by going to a neighbouring town.
"Proposed the ban of shark fin fish soup? No problem, folks will travel to Markham, Pickering, Mississauga etc. As Jdoe writes, a coast to coast ban is needed," said walkafish.
Only Honduras and a handful of small island nations have banned the possession and sale of shark fins outright. In the U.S., Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Guam have passed similar bans on shark fins, and California is considering such a ban.
Should shark fin soup be banned in Canada? Or would banning it only spur a black market in shark fins? Let us know what you think.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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