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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

The Calgary City Hall Sharks

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Dogfish Shark is Certified Sustainable by Moody Marine Ltd (Independent Scientific Association)

On Monday Calgary City Council passed¬†first reading of a¬†new bylaw aimed at banning the sale of shark fins and shark products in Calgary¬†even though there is a commercial shark fishing industry¬†in Canada on the Pacific and Atlantic coast that fishes sustainable shark fish (the dog-fish¬†shark) . The council argues it is against¬†the finning of sharks (cutting off the fin and throwing away the fish)¬†so this practice should be banned. The problem with this argument is that the practice of finning¬†is already banned in Canada since the early 1990’s.

There are several alderman that¬†appear to be¬†the driving force¬†of this bogus and unthought out bylaw. These Alderman¬†don’t¬†seem to have¬†all the facts about¬†the shark industry or even care to¬†acknowledge¬†the facts¬†, yet push ahead a bylaw that will ban legal¬†shark product from Calgary residents. I find this¬†a disgraceful abuse of power by these Alderman dictating what legal food products Calgarians can¬†or¬†cannot eat. It’s like they are promoting¬†their own personal environmental¬†issue , for some unknown reason,¬†on taxpayers money.

I understand it was mentioned that some alderman¬†googled the web and couldn’t¬†find a thing on the shark fishing industry. Just didn’t¬†exist. Said¬†it was all a fabrication of the pro shark activists. Said there is no sustainable shark fishing industry in Canada.¬†Well, just to set the record straight,¬†here is a little information¬†on the sustainable¬†shark industry they can consider before the final reading of the bylaw this coming January 2013. It might be a good idea for the aldermen¬†do to a little home¬†work¬†on the subject before¬†they start backing a ridiculous bylaw with outrages fines of up to $10,000 for being in possession of legal¬†shark fish products.

The¬†legal commercial shark¬†fisheries¬†is aimed at the porbeagle shark and spiny dogfish and was entered into assessment by the BC Dogfish Hook & line industry Association that represents more than 90% of the vessels fishing Dog fish Shark and all Processors that convert the fish into market ready. The BC coast wide¬†total allowable catch¬†for Dogfish is 14,000 metric tonnes, with 9,250 m.t being accessible to the Hook and Line sector and 4,480 m.t. by the trawl sector.¬†The MSC’s dogfish certification is supported by the David Suzuki Foundation¬†(DSF)¬† and the¬†World Wildlife Fund. The fishery is managed within the precautionary framework of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). All parts of the shark fish including the fin are sold, just like any other fishing product.

Read More: First ‘sustainable’ shark fishery certified¬†

British Columbia Hook & Line SPINY DOGFISH (Shark) Fishery  June 2011

Spiny Dog Fish Makes History sustainable+shark+fishery/5432392/story.html

I hope we don’t¬†hear again from the Calgary¬†Alderman that there is no shark fishing industry¬†in Canada. There is. And its legal. I also hope they¬†ask themself before the final vote on January 2013, how¬†they can possible¬†support banning Calgarians¬†from a¬†legal fish product.¬†Their job as Alderman is to give¬†the voters¬†the facts not half-truths and fiction. ¬†I find it preposterous and a dangerous precedent for banning other legal food products.

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Written by Ken McGregor

October 16, 2012 at 10:59 pm

2 Responses

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  1. NOAA is ultimately the ortioizagann that declared them recovered, and according to their press release that decision was based on stock assessments and input from the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (I know the NEFMC has recommended against listing dogfish on CITES on multiple occasions).After digging a little on the MSC site it looks like the assessment is being conducted by a group called Moody Marine Ltd. based out of Nova Scotia, and the client (who I assume is the group asking for the assessment) is Seatrade International out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I\’m not really familiar with either of those groups.The assessment itself is supposed to take 12-15 months, which is right on the line of just enough/not enough in my opinion.


    December 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

  2. It was a shame that a big city Alderman had resorted to use grossly misleading 4 reasons to force the other Aldermen to vote yes to this By Law in July this year without public consultation. And this Alderman has denied a public consultation when he was asked.
    The 4 reasons were:
    1- Regency Palace owner had written a letter asking to ban Shark Fin. The truth is, the current and formal owner had never written or authorized anyone one else to write anything for them. This Alderman also aknowledged this fact but said it didn’t not matter because the council had passed this motion.
    2- The community had been consulted. The truth is NO. In a 5 weeks time, 3500 people has signed a petition asking for a public consultation. Over 40 community associations and 100 personal letters have written letter stating that they were never consulted.
    3- community had been consulted. The truth is only 1 community association had written 1 letter stating that they and them along support the ban. Sunsequetly, after being used as the voice of the community by that same Alderman, this association had since written 2 more letters to clarify that their association does not representing the whole community.
    4- The government in China has banned shark fin. The truth is NO. The truth is, they have phasing out shark fin soup during State Dinner in the next few years. They have never put in a ban for the public.

    During a meeting with this Alderman and his buddy Alderlady, they told us that this By Law is only aimming at the consumption onl and he asked us to come up with a grace period for stocks. And during October 15 council meeting. Again, this Alderman said that he was told by us that 6 months should be enough. The truth was we have never given him any time what do ever.
    The city council is the only level of government which is accountable to no one. No one holds them accountable. There’s no checks and balances. They can do whatever they want. For example, the 25 million dollars bridge, the bike lane on 10 Street and many more to come. Will these Eco-Dictators ever stop?
    I asked everyone this, what is going to be next?

    Sean Chu

    October 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

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