Toronto city council has voted in favour of banning the possession and consumption of shark fins. The final vote was 38-4, with only these four voting against the ban:
- Rob Ford
- Giorgio Mammoliti
- Doug Holyday
- David Shiner
If you're unsure what the shark fin controversy is about, check out this video of Gordon Ramsay from his special "Shark Bait".
If I understand Rob Ford's argument correctly, we should allow the sale of shark fin soup because it's important to Chinese culture. Once more, Ford's premise is faulty. Many an inhumane and abusive practice has been associated with a particular culture and it's our role as a progressive and civilized society to cease tolerating and condoning these barbaric actions. A shark fin ban makes sense as something we can do to reduce the demand for shark finning.
According to wildlife conservation much of the sharks' fin trade uses fins cut from living sharks, called finning. Because shark meat is worth much less, the now finless and often still-living sharks are thrown back into the sea to make room for more of the valuable fins. In the ocean, the sharks either die from suffocation or are eaten because they are unable to move normally.
Violating the ban will result in a fine of between $500 and $100,000. Good move, Toronto.