Media release to Nanaimo Bulletin, Nanaimo Daily News, Harbour City Star

Media release:
Nanaimo City Council will vote on Shark Fin Ban July 13, Monday, 7pm
Vancouver Animal Defense League spokesman Anthony Marr will present the case for ban before the vote
Shaw Auditorium in the Conference Center, 80 Commercial Street.
Rally at the Diana Krall Plaza outside of the Library 6-7pm

In Ontario, the cities of Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Newmarket, Pickering and London have banned shark fins outright.
In the U.S. Pacific: California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, plus Illinois, have all banned shark fins state-wide.
Here in British Columbia – Port Moody, Coquitlam and North Vancouver have publicly announced their own bans.  Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby are collectively working on a regional ban.  Surrey and Langley will hear the case in September.
Time has come for Vancouver Island to come on board.
Here are some basic shark finning facts:
1. Shark-finning is exceedingly cruel.  Sharks caught mostly with long lines are hauled into boats, have their fins cut off and the rest of their still-alive bodies thrown back into the ocean.  This is tantamount to some aliens abducting you, cutting off all four limbs and dumping you back on to the road.
2.  Each year, over 100 million sharks (by latest estimate) are finned around the world.  Practically every country with a coastline does it, the “Big 5” being Costa Rica, Spain, UAE, Singapore and Indonesia (Taiwan has recently banned shark-finning).
3.  Sharks are extremely slow reproducing.  Whereas most fish spawn thousands of eggs every years, shark give birth to only 2-4 eggs every 2-4 years.  Most do not reach sexual maturity until 10-20 years old.  There no way they can sustain the onslaught and be able to recover, making this matter a state of emergency.
4.  Of the 450 shark species, one-third are endangered.  Since shark-finning is indiscriminate, and almost no records are kept, there is no way of telling which fin in Chinatown belongs to what species short of a fin-by-fin DNA analysis.  Who would pay for this?
5.  Sharks are apex predators, which prey on medium sized fish, but not small fish which the medium sized fish prey on.  If sharks are wiped out, the medium sized fish would proliferate and over-prey on the small fish, and the entire oceanic ecosystem could collapse.  The opposition simply does not understand this fact.
“International law (CITES & UN) and Canadian federal law (WAPPRIITA) forbid trade on products containing endangered species parts, and Canada own Fisheries Act forbids shark-finning in Canadian waters,” says Anthony Marr, “which makes any city still allowing the shark fin trade in violation of all these laws.”
And he adds, “There are group out there that oppose an outright ban but instead use the ‘one-bowl-at-a-time’ gradualistic voluntary withdrawal approach, which could be effective given a couple of decades, but at this rate of indiscriminate decimation, the sharks simply do not have the time.”
Please contact:
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Spokesman of the Vancouver Animal Defense League

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