Delta considering shark fin ban: Richmond Race Politics

Delta considering shark fin ban: Richmond Race Politics

By Sandor Gyarmati, The Delta Optimist December 21, 2012
Anthony Marr urged civic councillors to implement a ban on the sale of shark fin products.

Anthony Marr urged civic councillors to implement a ban on the sale of shark fin products.

Photograph by: Gord Goble , Delta Optimist

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.

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COMMENT:
Quote:
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.
I had discussed this issue previously and strongly supported the Shark Fin Ban. I’ve seen a documentary of this harvest, whereby sharks are caught, their fins removed and thrown back in the water alive, to die a miserable death.

WHALE SHARK De-Finned(video)

While we should respect other cultures….in certain issues that do not involve life and death, pragmatism should rule over dogmatism.
If sharks were part of a sustainable fishery and where the entire shark was processed , that is one thing.
No-one will perish from lack of shark fin…it is simply a status symbol.
Richmond Councils response is…..INdecisive.  Why ? Race politics…..no evidence to the contrary
A few years back, Richmond passed a bylaw against the sale of dogs in pet stores.  It appeared one Councillor pushed for it, as his ” pet ” project, …no pun intended. I am not really sure what is solved, or what is really in the pets interest…but Richmond took pride  in the fact is was apparently the first City in Canada to do so. It spent thousands of dollars to draft and pass this bylaw, and if not mistaken withstood a legal challenge.  Now this involved the well -being of living animals .  So, why does this not apply to sharks, in the sense that a ban on shark fins here will send a message elsewhere, it becomes an accumulative effect that gains momentum .
Richmond Councils hypocrisy in its “pick and chose” re: animal rights  is an embarassment, and a sign of weak leadership and cowering to Race politics. Clearly they fear ” insulting ” a distinct group  that feels shark fin soup is a right, when the majority feels shark fin harvesting  is an abomination.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again…Richmond City Hall…the biggest Whorehouse in Richmond.
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