Fin Donnelly: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the bill, an act to amend the Fish Inspection Act and the Fisheries Act (importation of shark fins). I would like to thank the member for Vancouver East for seconding the bill.
The bill would amend the Fish Inspection Act to prohibit the importation of shark fins into Canada, and would make into law a prohibition on shark finning in Canadian waters.
Sharks are top predators and play a key role in maintaining ocean health. Their populations are plummeting around the world. Scientists report that up to 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins, often by finning, a horrific practice in which the fins are severed from the shark and the shark’s body is discarded at sea.
In 2009, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported that over one-third of all shark species are threatened with extinction as a result of shark finning.
The best way to curb illegal finning is to stop the international trade in shark fins. Canada can become a world leader in shark conservation and ocean stewardship by adopting legislation to protect sharks.
I hope all members of the House will support this legislation.
Seconded by Elizabeth May December 12, 2011.