Friday, June 8, 2012

Shark-fin-ban urged for Vancouver and Richmond

This is about banning shark fins outright, immediately or sooner, not about voluntary withdrawal over years and decades, "one bowl at a time". The sharks just can't wait that long!

Shark-finning is obscenely cruel. Half of all shark species are endangered. And 90 million sharks die every year for nothing worthier than ultra-expensive bowls of liquid prestige.

The gradualistic voluntary-withdrawal approach is presumably, to put it bluntly, so that the Chinese people wouldn't lose face. But as a Chinese Canadian, I want shark fins outright banned, ASAP please. Continued consumption and commerce for years if not decades, with the whole world looking on, can only further embarrass those good Chinese people who are against consuming such products, such as myself, and further damage the Chinese reputation as well as the reputation of otherwise relatively civilized cities like Vancouver.

For the state of the movement, the following Canadian cities and Pacific Rim U.S. states have banned shark fins outright:

Canadian cities: Brantford (ON), Coquitlam (BC), Mississauga (ON), Port Moody (BC), Toronto (ON)

U.S. Pacific states: California, Oregon the Washington state-wide.

Conspicuously absent, especially to me in the Lower Mainland on the Canadian Pacific Rim, are the two major shark-fins-consuming centres of Vancouver and Richmond. We want them to be shark-fins-free zones simultaneously, such that no buck can be passed back and forth. We could include Victoria at this point, but few if not none would take a two hour ferry ride just to have a bowl of shark-fin soup. Further, if Vancouver and Richmond both come down with a ban, others including Victoria, Nanaimo, Burnaby and New Westminster will follow suit, that already set by Coquitlam and Port Moody.

My friend Marley Daviduk of the Vancouver animal Defence League has taken upon herself to contact all Vancouver and Richmond city councillors to see where they stand, and to seek their cooperation. One Vancouver councillor in favour of an outright ban to whom Marley has spoken offered her the following advice:

[If/when the city councillors receive large amounts of emails urging an outright ban, they will work towards an outright ban. If there is no pressure on city hall to change, nothing will change in the street.]

Abiding by this wisdom, we ask all, whether you live in Vancouver, Richmond or elsewhere, to email the following mayors and city councillors:,,,,,,,,,,,

And please share this request on. The sharks depend on us!

Here is my contribution:

Dear mayors and councillors of Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby:

We all know that shark-finning is extremely cruel, that half of the world's shark species are endangered, that 90 million sharks are finned per year around the world, and thousands of shark fins from unknown species find their ways into Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.

We also know that Canadian cities including Brantford (ON), Coquitlam (BC), Mississauga (ON), Port Moody (BC) and Toronto (ON), and all three American Pacific states of California, Oregon and Washington, have banned shark-fins outright. Conspicuously absent are the Canadian Pacific Lower Mainland cities of Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby, where it should have all begun. But better late than never.

I am aware that there may be a VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL program ongoing between city hall and certain groups, but such a strategy will take years if not decades to take significant effect. The sharks, especially their endangered species, simply do not have the time, and with every year's delay, another 90 million sharks die horrible death, for no higher purpose than the prestige of certain consumers and the profit of certain merchants, and the face of certain communities.

I urge immediate action for also a personal reason. As one among thousands of Chinese Canadians who are against the use of shark fins, I feel daily embarrassed by the continuation of this vile practice in my home city, and the vile language I've heard used against the Chinese people because of it.

I am writing to strongly urge an outright ban as soon as possible, and request your constructive response at your earliest convenience.

The current gradualistic approach does have a place, and that is to educate the Chinese people why there is a ban, but first, there ought to be a ban.

Thank you for your attention.


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

Please write your own and send it in. It does not have to be long. If you are busy, just "I am writing to urge an outright ban of shark fins in Vancouver" will do very nicely. Thank you!

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)

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