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Toronto and Taiwan Make Strides for Sharks

Posted Wed, Oct 26, 2011 by Ariel Kagan to shark conservation, shark fin soup, shark finning, taiwan, toronto

shark fins

Shark fins drying in the sun. © Oceana/LX

The good news just keeps rolling in for sharks – this time from Toronto and Taiwan.

Yesterday the Toronto City Council voted to ban the sale and use of shark fins in the city; the ban will take effect in September 2012.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has announced its intention to ban the practice of shark finning starting next year, a step forward in promoting the sustainable fishing and humane treatment of sharks. Shark finning is the practice of cutting the valuable fins off of sharks, and throwing the dead or dying body back in the ocean. Shark fins are used to make shark fin soup, a popular and expensive dish that is served primarily in China and Taiwan.

While the new regulation won’t stop the catching of sharks, it will mean that boats have to bring the whole shark in to port. This means that the species and size of the caught sharks can be monitored, and therefore can help assess the trends in populations.

While this is a step in the right direction, it is important to reduce the demand for shark fins as well. Up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for the global shark fin trade, and according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, about 20 percent of all sharks are threatened with extinction.

That’s why Oceana works to save sharks from overfishing. You can help by supporting our work to protect sharks!


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