Victory: Toronto Passes Shark Fin Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2011

CONTACTS:

Claudia Li, Founder of Shark Truth at press@sharktruth.com (604) 723-0134
Sarah Parsons, Senior Organizer at Change.orgsarah@change.org, (860) 402-0516

VICTORY! TORONTO CITY COUNCIL PASSES SHARK FIN BAN

After nearly 10,000 people join online campaign in support of city-wide shark fin ban, the Toronto City Council voted in favor of the legislation.

TORONTO, ON – Toronto City Councillors voted this afternoon to adopt a city-wide shark fin ban, becoming the largest city in Canada to prohibit the sale of shark fin. The support was overwhelming with the votes coming in at 38-4.

Passage of the legislation, initially proposed by City Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam, John Parker, and Glenn De Baeremaeker, marks a huge win for Shark Truth, a Vancouver-based non-profit that promotes shark education and conservation. The organization recruited nearly 10,000 people to join a campaign on Change.org urging Toronto’s City Councillors to vote in favor of the city-wide shark fin ban.

“For a city the size and influence of Toronto to pass a shark fin bill is a historic moment for Canada,” said Claudia Li, founder of Shark Truth. “Councillors are setting an example of how we can protect sharks from the wasteful practice of finning.”

Toronto is now the fourth city in Ontario to enact a shark fin ban, joining Brandtford, Oakville, and Mississauga. The U.S. state of California enacted a state-wide shark fin ban earlier this month, on October 7th.

“It’s been exciting to watch the momentum for this legislation build,” said Sarah Parsons, Senior Organizer at Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. “Our platform empowers anyone, anywhere to start a campaign about an issue they care about, and it has been incredible to see Shark Truth use the platform to help Canadians get their voices heard.”

Shark finning is a process by which fishermen catch sharks, slice off their fins and tails, then throw the fish back into the water to die. Up to 73 million sharks are killed through finning every year to meet the demand for shark fin soup, leading some shark populations to decline by as much as 90 percent in recent years.

Signature totals from Shark Truth’s campaign on Change.org:
http://www.change.org/petitions/support-a-shark-fin-ban-in-toronto

Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request:

Sarah Parsons
Senior Organizer, Change.org
(860) 402-0516, sarah {at] change {Dot} org

Journalists interested in contacting Toronto City Councillors should try:

John Parker, Toronto City Councillor
(416) 392-0215

Glenn De Baeremaeker, Toronto City Councillor
(416) 392-7428

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor
(416) 392-7903

For more information on Shark Truth group, please visit:

http://www.sharktruth.com/

Shark Truth is a Vancouver-based, grassroots non-profit focused on promoting education, awareness, and action around sharks and shark fin issues. The group’s long-term goal is to stop all shark fin consumption in Canada within five to ten years.

For more information on Change.org, please visit:

http://www.change.org/about

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.