Congratulations California: Now Our Eyes are on Toronto

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 10, 2011

CONTACT

Claudia Li, petition creator and Shark Truth founder, 604-723-0134, claudia [at] sharktruth {Dot} com
Jess Leber, senior organizer at Change.org, 516-658-9606, jess [at] change {Dot} org

AS CALIFORNIA SHARK FIN BAN PASSES, CONSERVATIONISTS LOOK TO TORONTO
More than 2,600 people join campaign on Change.org supporting Toronto shark fin ban

TORONTO, ON – More than 2,600 people have joined a growing online campaign calling on the City of Toronto to ban the sale, distribution, and possession of shark fins.

The news follows the passage of a shark fin ban in California, home to the largest market for shark fins in North America. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a statewide shark fin ban (AB 376) into law Sunday, signaling a major success for a growing movement to protect shark populations. The move came after nearly 28,000 people joined an online campaign on Change.org started by the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance, one of AB 376’s sponsors.

“Like California, Toronto has the highest number of Chinese consumers in their nation,” said Claudia Li, the founder of Canadian shark conservation non-profit Shark Truth. “The signing of this bill is a historic moment for sharks. Our southern neighbours are showing us, and Toronto, the urgent steps we need to take to protect this misunderstood, vulnerable species.”

Shark Truth started an online petition on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change, urging Toronto’s city councillors to approve a city-wide ban on the sale of shark fin. The proposed legislation will go before the Licensing and Standards Committee this Thursday, October 13, and will be up for a full council vote sometime in November.

“Online campaigns in favor of shark fin bans in places like California and Toronto have been hugely popular on Change.org,” said Sarah Parsons, senior organizer at Change.org. “It has been encouraging to watch Asian Americans who support ocean conservation and a ban on the sale of shark fin come together to express their support for this legislation.”

Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to meet the growing demand for shark fin soup. The practice is pushing many shark species to the brink of extinction, with some species’ populations declining by as much as 90 percent in recent years.

Shark Truth is asking supporters to attend the Licensing and Standards Committee meeting about the shark fin ban this Thursday, October 13th, at 9:30 at City Hall. The full council vote on the city-wide shark fin ban will take place sometime in November (date is not yet set).

To view live signature totals of Shark Truth petition on Change.org:
http://www.change.org/petitions/support-a-shark-fin-ban-in-toronto

To view the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance’s petition in support of California shark fin ban:
http://www.change.org/petitions/join-the-apa-alliance-to-ban-shark-fin-in-california

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