This enactment amends the Fish Inspection Act to add a requirement that, if a person is importing shark or shark product, the country of harvest and the common name of the shark must be indicated, in writing, to an inspector. It also amends the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act to prohibit the sale or importation of shark and shark product unless it is prepackaged and labelled to show certain information, including a statement that it may be unfit for human consumption due to mercury contamination.
Whereas mercury and other heavy metals are dangerous environmental contaminants, with grave consequences for human health if consumed in high concentrations;
Whereas numerous scientific studies have identified dangerous levels of mercury and other heavy metals in some shark fin products that make them unfit for human consumption and a food safety risk;
Whereas it is of critical importance to Canadian consumers to have all necessary information about the products they consume presented in an accessible and transparent manner, in order to make informed decisions about health and diet;
Whereas due primarily to the pressures caused by overfishing, global shark populations are collapsing, and a 2011 study by Mizue et al. concluded that, “overfishing of sharks is now recognized as a major global conservation concern, with increasing numbers of shark species added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species”;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Fish Inspection Act
1. The Fish Inspection Act is amended by adding the following after section 3:
3.1 (1) A person who imports shark or shark product shall provide written indication to an inspector of (a) the country of harvest of the shark, regardless of whether it is wild-caught; and (b) the common name of the species and subspecies of shark.
Country of harvest
(2) For the purposes of this section, “country of harvest” includes, in circumstances where the shark is harvested outside the territorial waters of a particular country, the geographic location in which the shark was harvested. R.S., c. C-38
Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act
2. The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act is amended by adding the following after section 4:
Shark and shark product
4.1 (1) No dealer shall sell or import into Canada any shark or shark product unless it is prepackaged and has applied to it a label that, in addition to complying with any other requirements of this Act, shows (a) the shark’s common or generic name; (b) the shark’s country of harvest; and (c) the following statement: “Shark and shark products may be unfit for human consumption due to mercury contamination. Le requin et les produits de requin peuvent être impropres à la consommation humaine en raison de la contamination par le mercure.”
Country of harvest
(2) For the purposes of this section, “country of harvest” includes, in circumstances where the shark is harvested outside the territorial waters of a particular country, the geographic location in which the shark was harvested.