Niagara Regional Council Urged To Ban Sale Of Shark-Fin Soup And Other Shark-Related Products

(Niagara At Large is posting the following open letter from Arthur Miller of the citizens advocacy group Marineland Animal Defense/Shark Allies Niagara to regional councillors in Niagara, Ontario, urging them to support a ban here on the sale of shark-fin soup and other products with shark remains in them. Such a ban has already been passed in other Ontario municipalities including Toronto, London, Oakville, Brantford and Mississauga.)

 Dear Regional Councillors,

 We are writing you this letter as concerned citizens from across the Niagara (Ontario) Region.

A shark butchered for its fins before being thrown back in the ocean to drown.

 As advocates for other animal species we see a sweeping change in attitude towards our relationships with other animals and the environment and we are urging local council to act on these issues. One current illustration of this change is the sweep of shark fin bans across North America. Municipal bans have been passed in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville and London and there is now momentum behind a proposed federal ban being introduced by Fin Donnelly (NDP – New Westminster – Coquitlam). We are writing to you in hopes to not only expedite municipal bans in the Niagara Region, but also in hopes of pushing for a more comprehensive ban.

The impetus for shark fin bans stems from the slow reproductive rates of shark species, the role they play in our oceans as apex predators, and the ways in which human beings catch and destroy their bodies for our use. Estimates range between 23 million to 73 million sharks are finned yearly. This is a staggering number and it has pushed many shark species close to extinction.

For perspective, as a result of this shark populations have dropped 80% over the last 50 years. Sharksʼ role as apex predators in our oceans mean they control and regulate prey species below. This regulation is vital to the maintenance of our ocean systems and ensures our oceans can regulate the control and release of carbon.

Long lining, the process in which most sharks are caught is also an extremely destructive process that is indiscriminate and has high rates of off catch – meaning they harm other endangered and potentially endangered species.

 The rationale driving these bans is that shark species belong in the ocean and that we need to protect their environments. As such, we are urging regional council to put forward a comprehensive ban that would end the sale of not only shark fin products in the Niagara Region, but also shark cartilage pills and also the practice of keeping shark species captive.

 This ban would save municipal resources, be a strong motion in defense of other animal species and our environment, and also position the Niagara Region as a leader in the Shark Conservation movement.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue please contact us at We hope to hear the position of each regional councillor and look forward to working together on this issue.

 Sincerely,  Marineland Animal Defense/Shark Allies Niagara

(Niagara At Large invites you to shared your views on this post in the comment boxes below. NAL only posts comments by people who are willing to share their names with their views)


9 responses to “Niagara Regional Council Urged To Ban Sale Of Shark-Fin Soup And Other Shark-Related Products

  1. Let’s first ban the out-of-control public sector spending at the Region which will grow by more than $40 million this year thanks to a jellyfish Council that can’t say “no” to picking our pockets even deeper notwithstanding we suffer from the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the country!


  2. gail benjafield

    Trying to stay on topic appears to be a problem.

    This is about an odious practise regarding killing of animals in an inhumane manner. It is an environmental issue. Other Municipalities have shown leadership on this issue, why not the Regional Municipality of Niagara?


  3. Nobody needs shark fin soup. These amazing animals have been around since prehistory and it seems humans will wipe them out. They are much maligned creatures necessary for balance in the oceans and thus the rest of the planet. One small pebble in the pond that is earth makes waves. In the past month the black African rhino has been declared extinct. Humans won’t be happy until we mess this planet up even more. Hopefully we humans will go on the endangered species list soon enough to put the earth back into some sort of equilibrium.


  4. I recently saw a documentary on this practice and it was one of the most disgusting stories I have ever witnessed. Once the fins are cut off, the sharks are thrown away, and they go to the bottom to die a terrible death – and what is worse, it is all about greed and money. We are not lacking in food of any kind – in fact we have more than enough variety – we don’t need this. There should be no question about it ….a ban is certainly in


  5. Linda McKellar’s comments were extremely good and should give us all food for thought. Has anyone checked the Official Earth Endangered Species List lately; it is updated daily, and not including plants, now stands at 10,796; if we add in plants the number is 20,118. These numbers are shocking; they show how careless we are with our planet earth, and the creatures who are trying to survive here !


  6. I agree with the other posts. (Can’t understand Mr. A. Petrowski’s comments). The practice seems so barbaric and unecessary.


    • Mr. Hood, I do not mind endorsing this cause but I do not want staff to spend any time researching what we already know, that’s all. Therefore, the “10 seconds” remark.


  7. I would recommend the Canadian documentary Sharkwater to anyone interested in this topic. It has won 22 international awards. Actually, it should be seen by everyone. The wholesale hunting of sharks for their fins will soon be an ecological disaster for our oceans, and we should all be aware of that.

    Yes, there no need to do any more research. The facts are all there.


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