Sep 18, 2012 / 7:33 pm
A Vancouver City councillor's quest to ban the sale of the traditional Asian delicacy of shark fins has prompted a food fight with those who say such a ban is "culturally insensitive."
Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang brought dried shark fins from his mother's closet to city hall on Tuesday to illustrate the deep traditional hold the shark fin has on Chinese-Canadian culture. The fins had probably been in her closet for decades, Jang said.
City council voted unanimously to start work on what could become a region-wide ban on the sale of shark fin.
Jang called the vote a huge cultural and environmental step forward.
"This is something that affects all of us, not just one single culture," Jang said. "I think we've really turned the corner on this issue. People are understanding the reasons why. They understand it's an ethical issue and it's not an attack on any one culture."
But David Chung, a restaurateur and head of the B.C. Asian Restaurant and Cafe Owners Association in nearby Richmond, B.C., vowed to fight any ban and is already working on a petition.
People should have a right to choose the food they eat, he said.
He vowed to organize protests and even take legal action if a ban is imposed.
International animal rights groups estimate that up to 73 million sharks are killed each year, mostly for their fins. The groups say sharks are dumped back into the world's oceans after their fins are cut off, leaving them to die slow and painful deaths.
Email us email@example.com