Sing Tao Daily June 10, 2011. page A5

Shark Truth wants Vancouver to ban shark fin

A local environmental group Shark Truth is calling on Vancouver to follow the City of Brantford’s example to ban the sale of shark fin. Councillor Kerry Jang does not think the ban is workable out of the respect for the Chinese culture and he is also concerned that a ban could drive the trade into a black market.

Shark Truth is a Vancouver-based organization formed by Claudia Li in 2009. Li said yesterday she has arranged to meet with Jang later this month to discuss ways to cut down on shark fin consumption. In addition Brantford’s successful example, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker of Toronto is also planning to introduce a similar motion this week.

She said the long-term goal is to move the issue to the federal level to seek a total ban across the country in five to 10 year.

Cllr. Jang said out of respect for the Chinese culture and the concern that it could drive the trade into the black market, he believes it would be difficult to impose a ban by legislation. However, he thinks through public education and raising people’s awareness of the issue, and together with the declining shark fin consumption by the younger generation, the sales in Vancouver would also decline.

Councillor George Chow questioned if City Council has the authority to impose such a ban and said the issue needs further studying, adding the concern for “face” by the older generation need to be taken into consideration and there may be other ways to protect the shark population.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm said this is the first time that the issue came up and he needs more information and to have internal discussions before responding.

The manager of Floata Restaurant Kam-man Lau said there were two wedding banquets last year where the customers did not want to serve shark fin out of consideration for the environment. He does not believe a ban would have a serious impact on the restaurant as shark fin is only small portion of its business.

Another restaurateur in Richmond suggests if a ban is imposed, it needs to be done across municipalities otherwise it would not be fair.