In a major victory for marine life, conservationists, and environmental organizations, Canada has just announced a ban on the import and export of shark fins in the country.

The amendment to the Fisheries Act was passed in the Senate earlier this month and will become law before the House and Senate rise for summer break at the end of this month.

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Bill S-238, a Ban on Shark Fin Importation and Exportation Act, was first introduced by Senator McDonald in the Senate in April 2017 and sponsored in the House of Commons by MP Fin Donnelly.

Since then, the bill has been championed by environmentalists, with over 300,000 people signing a petition and over than 10,000 contacting their MPs to call for action.

“This is a huge victory for sharks and for the many Canadians, advocacy groups and politicians who joined together to champion the ban of this cruel practice,” says Kim Elmslie, Campaign Director, Oceana Canada.

“We applaud everyone’s efforts, including Senator Michael MacDonald and MP Fin Donnelly who initiated and championed the private members bill calling for a ban.”

According to Oceana, Canada has been the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.  Fins from up to 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year, including many endangered species.

Last week, Canada officially made it illegal to take and keep cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in captivity by passing Bill S-203.

Exceptions include allowing rescue organizations to help injured cetaceans, as long as the animals are released once they’re healthy again.

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