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The topic of shark finning is heating up around the world – including Ottawa. Thanks to recent landmark legislation in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London banning the sale and possession of shark fin, over 10% of Canadian residents live in municipalities in which shark fin is now illegal. And supporters are hoping Canada will soon become the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins in an attempt to address plummeting shark populations worldwide. On Wednesday, February 29th, M.P.s and senators have a unique opportunity to get educated on the issues facing sharks. To grow Canadian support for sharks across all parties, conservative M.P. Terence Young is hosting a private screening of the award-winning documentary, Sharkwater, near Parliament Hill. Toronto native, director and star of the film, Rob Stewart, will introduce the film and also host a discussion immediately following. The highly acclaimed Sharkwater has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks and inspired a global movement to save them.
Filmed in visually stunning high definition video, Sharkwater captures Stewart’s riveting journey throughout 15 countries and exposes his shocking discoveries in the world of shark finning. The film’s popularity has been the catalyst for the international Fin Free movement and has helped create environmental reform in over 30 countries.
“With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart. “Banning ivory protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will give sharks a much needed chance to recover.”
In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Stewart, and his organization, United Conservationists who launched the Fin Free campaign, believe focusing on reducing demand for shark fin through bans is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks – who play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy - from extinction. Stewart and his team will be available prior to the film for questions from the press as well: 395 Wellington (library and Archives Canada), 7:00 pm
Christine Barisheff, TypeA Consulting,Inc. Julie Andersen
Christine [at] typeaconsult [dot] com julie [at] unitedconservationists [dot] org