The Calgary City Hall Sharks
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 http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=4339
British Columbia Hook & Line SPINY DOGFISH (Shark) Fishery June 2011 http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/british-columbia-spiny-dogfish/assessment-downloads-1/14.06.2011_BC_dogfish_PCD_assessment_report.pdf
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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