I have loved sharks ever since I was a child, I was obsessed. I think I may have been the only child to watch Jaws and get excited when he appeared on screen. Jaws was like superman to me, the hero of the movie. Unfortunately for the most part the majority of the viewers thought differently and sharks were hunted and killed. When 101 Dalmatians was released every kid wanted that dog, when Jaws was released... everyone wanted to kill a shark. These poor big fish have a very important role in the world’s oceans and maintaining a symbiotic roll with all life on the planet.
I have been to many Chinese functions that included shark fin soup as one of the dishes. I politely declined, only because I know what was done to the shark, but I had no idea the mass slaughter that is happening around the world.
So now 2 city councilors along with my hero and documentary film director Rob Stewart (Who is born and raised in Toronto) are collecting 10,000 signatures to eliminate shark fin soup in the city.
Incase you don't know who Rob Stewart is; he made a beautiful and informative documentary called SHARK WATER. You cannot help loving sharks and wanting to help them after watching this movie.
If two city councillors get their way, shark fin, a known Chinese delicacy may be wiped off restaurant menus in Toronto by the end of this year.
Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam gathered the press yesterday to outline details of the proposed ban of the sale, possession and consumption of shark fins within the city of Toronto and to announce the launch of the Celebrate Sharks Summer Tour, an initiative aimed at gathering support from the community with a 10,000 signature petition.
“I think this is a global problem. We’re offering a global solution,” said De Baeremaeker. “I feel very confident that come this Christmas, you won’t be able to buy shark fin soup in the city of Toronto.”
The unethical practice of shark finning and the dwindling shark population have raised concerns within the community.
Judson Chiu, head of the Shark Savers branch in Toronto, was at the press conference in support of the proposed ban on shark fins.
As a member of the Chinese community and a strong advocate for the ban of shark fins in Toronto, Chiu says the consumption of shark fin is not a matter of tradition, but a lifestyle decision based on the knowledge and consequences of the practice.
“In Toronto, I found that we are actually less progressive. People in Hong Kong have already started to realize this issue,” says Chiu. “For instance, my cousin who just had her wedding last week, she didn’t serve shark fin soup. It’s not a disgrace, it’s a lifestyle choice.”
While shark fin may be known as a Chinese delicacy, Chiu says that he has been surprised by the support they have received within the community.
“I guess it’s easier for people of Asian descent to sort of feel some kind of connection with the issue.
It’s not really an Asian issue but it does affect the Asian community.”
A clip from SHARKWATER...