Shark fin products have been banned in Toronto, Canada. Councilors voted 38-4 to make Canada’s largest city a shark fin free zone after a three hour long debate on the topic. Sale and consumption of shark fin soup and other products within the city limits got banned with an effect from September 1, 2012.
The objections to the ban were made by Mayor Rob Ford and his three fellow supporters. Mayor Ford said he did not think it was in their purview to do that. All the councilors are in a system without political parties.
The main argument in the debate was that about 100 million sharks are getting killed every year, mostly for shark fin soup. The sharks without fins are thrown back into the ocean, wasting 95% of the animal. Over 90 countries have banned the practice of shark finning.
The Toronto Chinese Business Association took out full page advertisements on dailies protesting the vote. They raised questions on the ivory product owners who are not being arrested. Ivory products have been banned in Canada for a long time.
Those who break the shark fin ban by law would face a $5,000 fine for a first offence, a $25,000 fine for a second offence and $100,000 fine for a third and subsequent offence.