With a landslide vote of 8 -1 the Town Council of Newmarket voiced to Canada and the world that they cared about our future and wanted a world with sharks in it. Another 80,000 residents of Ontario were added to the rapidly growing number of people who now live in a shark fin free world, when, on March 26th, the by-law in Newmarket was voted into effect.
Sarah Samwel, local Newmarket resident and lead campaigner for Fin Free Newmarket was delighted with the result and said she was immensely happy and thrilled with the turnout of people who came to support Fin Free and sharks at the meeting and thanked United Conservationists everywhere for their support. Many councilors indicated that it was through constant emails/calls as well as viewing the movie, Sharkwater, that they realized how important this vote was to the plummeting population of sharks everywhere.
This important by-law will make it illegal for shark fin and shark fin products, most often used in shark fin soup, to be possessed and sold anywhere in the town of Newmarket, joining the other leading municipalities of Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London who have all shown their support on the issue and recently banned shark fin.
Fin Free is now a worldwide campaign addressing the issue of the mass slaughter of sharks to supply growing consumer demand for shark fin. We believe that in order to protect sharks and ensure their survival, governments must get involved and institute legislation banning the sale and trade of shark fin.
The topic of shark fining is quickly heating up and being debated around the world. The award winning filmSharkwater, by United Conservationists Rob Stewart, has been the catalyst for the international Fin Free movement and is helping to 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. In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet.
With local municipalities sending the message out to the world that we will not sit idly by and watch sharks die, pressure to change peoples way of thinking is increasingly working and ourselves and future generations will see the benefits. Well done Newmarket, for having the courage and compassion to care about the future, you did a great thing!