Vancouver activists fight for ban on shark fin soup
Published Wednesday, March 30, 2011 8:40PM PDT
Activists in Vancouver are lobbying to ban the sale of shark fin soup, considered a delicacy by some and served at traditional Chinese weddings as a sign of respect.
Claudia Li, founder of Shark Truth, is proudly Chinese, but she says the shark-finning process is inhumane.
"Sharks are picked up and found, and they slice the fin off and they dump the rest of shark back into the ocean, and the shark's left to bleed to death," she told CTV News.
"I think there's other things that we can use to show off in our culture and this is just one of the things we have to let go of."
Food and culture writer Stephanie Yuen says the soup is believed to have health benefits, and serving it to guests is a sign of wealth.
"If I can afford giving my customers or my guests shark fins, that means that I am very well off," she said.
She says that depending on the grade of fin, each bowl can cost between $50 and $3,000.
The anti-shark-fin movement is picking up steam. Basketball star Yao Ming supports the cause, and possession, sale and trade of shark fins is now illegal in Hawaii. Lawmakers in California are moving to follow suit.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Norma Reid
Have your say: Should shark fin soup be banned in Vancouver?