Shark fin ban not in cards at Richmond City Hall
Senior staff at Richmond City Hall are telling council that regulating shark fins should be left to the federal government—not municipal officials.
“There has been much media attention around the issue of prohibiting the sale and distribution of shark fins and shark fin food products. Matters relating to shark finning and shark fin food products, however, are within federal rather than municipal jurisdiction,” said Glenn McLaughlin and May Leung in a report council will consider Monday.
Last summer, the Vancouver Animal Defense League urged council to ban shark fins in Richmond’s borders. Since then, some Metro Vancouver municipalities have instituted bans, while others—including Burnaby and Delta—have decided against a ban.
According to the staff report, over 400 people have submitted comments to Richmond City Hall in support of a ban, while the B.C. Asian Restaurant and Cafe Owners Association has filed a petition with 1,130 signatures opposing a ban.
Staff say a municipal bylaw would be difficult to enforce, citing a lack of authority to seize fins for analysis and verification, and a lack of expertise in identifying fins and their origin.
Richmond council will consider the staff report March 4 at 4 p.m. at its general purposes committee meeting.
Meanwhile, NDP MP Fin Donnelly is seeking to win a majority of federal votes to approve second reading of Bill C-380. The proposed legislation is aimed at halting the practice of shark finning, which Donnelly described in the House of Commons as "horrific."
A vote on C-380 is scheduled for March 27. Conservative Richmond MP Alice Wong has already spoken against further legislation.