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United Conservationists are pleased to have the support of Sir Richard Branson in their fight against shark finning and undertaking to get bans in place to stop the sale and possession of shark fins in Canada.
On Tuesday, March 6th, Richard Branson tweeted that he was heading to Canada to help get a blanket ban on the killing of sharks for shark fin soup. A long-time shark advocate, Branson has gotten on board the “Fin Free” campaign, spearheaded by award-winning filmmaker and eco-hero, Rob Stewart founder of United Conservationists.
It was Stewart’s highly acclaimed, award-winning documentary, Sharkwater, that ignited Branson’s passion to save sharks, and on January 15th Branson said “The films I really enjoy are films with a meaning or purpose like Sharkwater, which explores the misunderstood world of sharks, and while beautify and thrilling, also exposes corruption and exploitation surrounding the world’s shark populations. It was such a powerful film that now I’m trying to stop shark finning around the globe.” Indeed Sharkwater has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks and inspired a global movement to save them.
Richard Branson stated his support for the campaign and said "All of my businesses are Fin Free - and I support the movement to make the world fin free. With shark populations plummeting, banning the sale, trade and consumption of fins in communities around the world is one of the best ways to help stop the demand for fins and in turn, protect the world's remaining sharks. I encourage other leaders and businesses to take similar actions towards saving sharks - an animal critical to the health of our oceans."
The Fin Free movement, supported by other conservation groups such as WildAid and Shark Truth, has resulted in recent landmark legislation in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London banning the sale and possession of shark fin, with over 10% of Canadian residents now living in municipalities in which shark fin is now illegal. It is hoped that proposed legislation will soon make Canada the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins, decreasing demand and giving shark populations a much needed chance to recover. The fin free movement has been gaining momentum and has gone global with Fin Free Singapore, Taipei, New York, and Australia forming, and the help and backing of businesses and leaders like Richard Branson will ensure it continues to grow and make further impact.