Premier of British Columbia,
Station PROV GOVT,
Victoria, BC, V8W 9E1
We, the undersigned, respectfully ask you to consider the following:
An oceanic crisis has been precipitated by the massacre of the ocean’s top predators for shark fin soup, a party dish in increasing demand in China and other Asian cultures. As a result, shark populations world-wide have plummeted by 90 percent, with some populations at 1% of pre-1985 levels. The decline is comparable to the loss of buffalo from the great plains two hundred years ago, but on a global scale, and the most threatened shark species are expected to be extinct in ten to fifteen years. The elimination of the top predators from all oceans will ultimately be reflected in comparable ecological upheavals, and will affect all people on earth, not just those who enjoy shark fin soup.
Shark finning is a barbaric practice in which the sharks’ fins and tail are sliced off, and then it is tossed back into the ocean to sink, slowly dying. In a protein starved world, the waste represented by cutting off only 5 percent of millions of animals for food and discarding the rest, is indefensible.
The argument that people are showing cultural bias in asking that Asians omit shark fins from their special soup, does not hold up when faced with the way Asians have massacred the sharks of other cultures, including those of countries who hold sharks sacred. In slaughtering sharks in incalculable numbers on the coast of nearly every country with a tropical or temperate coastline, Asians have shown a complete lack of respect for other cultures.
Every second three sharks are finned for shark fin soup—an estimated seventy million sharks yearly. One third of about one thousand shark and ray species are believed now, to be nearing extinction.
In recognition of this immense problem, California, Oregon, and Washington states, all those on the west coast of North America, have made it illegal to sell, trade, possess, or distribute shark fins. So it is imperative that British Columbia act too, to prevent shark fins from entering via British Columbian ports, particularly Vancouver and Victoria.
Therefore, we are writing this letter to urge you and your government to ban the importation of shark fins into Canada via its west coast, and make it illegal to sell, trade, possess or distribute shark fins in British Columbia. By halting British Columbia’s contribution to the crisis, you will broadcast the strong message that western Canada joins the United States in refusing to play a role in driving so many species of sharks to extinction.
names, logos here
cc : Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver and councillors
Mayor Dean Fortin, City of Victoria and councillors