Scientists from the University of Guelph found 76% of shark fins purchased in Vancouver to be from threatened or endangered species. (Read more in the CTV NEWS)

FAQ: Why is trade of shark species listed as threatened or endangered legal in Canada?

[Hammerhead Shark, an endangered shark species that is not listed under CITES Appendix II. Picture credit: Josh Hallett]


Canada is a member Party of CITES and thus, currently only recognizes three species of sharks – the white shark, whale shark, and basking shark – in Appendix II of the CITES Convention. This agreement leaves all other shark species open to international trade, including importation into Canada. As a political trade organization, CITES Appendices’ listings are subject to member country votes but each country’s governing bodies (Federal, Provincial, or Municipal in Canada) can enact their own legislation to restrict trade.

In comparison, while the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List does not provide any legal status, the organization is the leading scientific authority assessing the conservation status of animal and plant species around the world. Under IUCN’s Red List, one third of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction, including the Hammerhead Shark and others found in the shark fin samples.

What YOU can do to help make Vancouver & Canada Fin Free:

1. Show your support for “Bill C-380 – National Import Ban on Shark Fins” by adding your name to the petitionThis Private Member’s Bill, if passed, will succeed the CITES convention in protecting sharks by banning imports of sharks into Canada and stop Canada’s contribution to the shark fin trade.

2. Go Fin Free
With the holidays and Chinese New Years just around the corner, book your dinners at Fin Free Restaurants. If you are in Vancouver, show your support for our first Fin Free restaurant partner The “Original” Szechuan Chongqing on Broadway. Chongqing is also the first Chinese restaurant to sign up for the Ocean Wise program showing their commitment towards healthier oceans. Floata in Chinatown has also recently committed to going Fin Free.

Fin Free Weddings? Check out our Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding campaign and show your support for wedding couples protecting sharks.

3. Stay informed on Shark Truth’s campaigns & local, national, and international shark conservation news and action via our Facebook, Twitter, or e-newsletter.