The Toronto City Council voted on Tuesday to ban the sale and possession of shark fins with a vote of 38-4. Toronto’s population of over 2.5 million makes it the fifth largest city in North America, and it is the largest market for shark products in Canada.
The motion was made even stronger by a unanimous recommendation calling on other municipalities, provincial governments, and the federal government to act on the issue of shark fins.
Earlier this month, the nearby city of Mississauga banned the sale and possession of shark fins. With a population of almost 800,000, it is Canada’s sixth largest city, and until this week was the largest city in Canada to enact a shark fin ban.
A staggering number of sharks are killed each year for only their fins, and the practice of shark finning has decimated shark populations worldwide. The groundswell to protect sharks continues to grow around the world despite opposition from some who claim that such laws discriminate against their cultural traditions.