Delta considering shark fin ban: Richmond Race Politics
Delta could soon follow the lead of other communities that have banned the trading and sale of shark fins.
The product is considered a delicacy by the Chinese community in particular, but a strong lobby effort has been underway to get municipalities across the country to impose bans.
The battles lines have been drawn in the heated issue with Richmond MP Alice Wong this fall enjoying a bowl of shark fin soup in front of the Asian media, reiterating her government’s position that the banning of shark fin products, including soup, is a federal, not a local, responsibility.
Locally, several communities, including Port Moody, North Vancouver, New Westminster and Coquitlam, have already banned the sale of shark fin products, while Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond – the three communities with the largest number of businesses selling shark fin products – agreed to look into it.
Delta council this week heard a presentation from Anthony Marr with the Vancouver Animal Defence League, who urged civic politicians to also implement a ban.
“We have been making a string of presentations this year to municipalities in the Lower Mainland, as well as Vancouver Island. Our results have been uniformly positive, with very few exceptions,” Marr said.
Marr said he didn’t have anything good to say about Wong and is not pleased the City of Richmond is dragging its feet on the issue, likely due to business interests lobbying against a prohibition. Marr suggested other municipalities should continue to pass bylaws in order to “isolate and shame to death” Richmond.
Several on council agreed the slaughter of sharks for fins was deplorable, voting in favour of a motion by Coun. Sylvia Bishop to have staff provide a report on a possible bylaw.
Coun. Bruce McDonald, wondering if there are any Delta eateries serving shark fin soup, said it is important to see what the other jurisdictions have in place.
He noted delegates at this September’s Union of B.C.
Municipalities convention voted by a wide margin to ask the province to outlaw the possession or sale of shark fins.
Council’s decision drew applause from a large contingent of supporters in the audience, including a group of high school students that came to see the presentation.
Jake Massel, a Grade 11 student at Southpointe Academy, also made a presentation, saying the shark fin trade is a brutal and senseless slaughter of sharks.