Vancouver Animal Defense League members and Sea Shepherd Canada activists successfully lobbied Richmond city council in July to consider banning shark fin.

Shark fin activists aim at Surrey, Langley and Maple Ridge

More city councils in Metro Vancouver set to mull ban

Surrey is the next city in the crosshairs of activists who want to ban shark fin soup from all of Metro Vancouver’s Chinese restaurants to reduce fishing pressure on threatened sharks.

Vancouver Animal Defence League spokesman Anthony Marr said his group will address council in Surrey on Monday and in Langley City on Sept. 17, while Maple Ridge’s council is expected to discuss the issue Sept. 11 ahead of a presentation at a later date.

Activists have focused on Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby – home to most Chinese seafood restaurants that use shark fin – and Marr said he believes those councils are close to agreeing on a coordinated ban to take effect in six months.

A simultaneous regional ban would ensure shark-serving restaurants and the clientele that want them don’t just shift to unregulated cities, he said.

“My prediction is it’s going to work,” Marr said. “The municipalities are just coming on board one after another.”

He said Surrey, Langley and Maple Ridge all invited him to make presentations – Marr didn’t approach them – so he’s optimistic those cities will also enact bans.

Surrey has a “fairly significant” Chinese population and has Chinese seafood restaurants that serve shark fin, he said.

Coquitlam, Port Moody and North Vancouver City are among the Metro councils that have previously committed to ban shark fin sales in their cities, enforced with either fines or revocation of business licences.

Richmond is a key battleground and Chinese restaurant owners there have resisted a ban.

Activists last month confronted one outlet demanding fin samples to test to determine if the fins came from endangered shark species. The owner refused to cooperate.

“Richmond is the sticky one because of the over 50 per cent Chinese population there,” Marr said, but he characterized opponents of a ban as a small minority and said younger Chinese back reform.

Activists claim 100 million sharks a year are dying for the fin trade and perhaps a third of them may be endangered.

David Chung, president of the the B.C. Asian Restaurant and Cafe Owners Association and owner of a Richmond restaurant that sells shark fin, has said he would only comply with a federal ban, if Ottawa can justify a halt to the trade.

Marr isn’t just relying on the council-by-council approach in the Lower Mainland.

He has also asked all B.C. cities to support a shark fin ban resolution that is to be voted on at the end of this month at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria.

“We’ve heard back from quite a few of them and they are all in support of this ban,” he said, adding a successful resolution would put pressure on the province to ban shark fin sales across B.C.

Ban advocates say slow-to-reproduce sharks could be wiped out by the fin trade and the loss of the apex predator would play havoc with the food chain, destabilizing other fisheries.

Just Posted

Langley Township purchases Alder Inn and neighbouring lots for $5.4-million

The municipality has ‘no immediate plans’ to redevelop nearly one-acre in the downtown core

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

UPDATED: Condolences pour forth from community after passing of Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa

The Conservative Member of Parliament and long-time community advocate died in hospice this morning

Half million dollars guarantees Aldergrove man a new truck

Aird – a resident of 25 years in Aldergrove – has been buying lottery tickets for “forever.”

New Langley bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Most Read