The Associated Press Shark finning is a controversial practice that sees fishers hack the fins off sharks and throw them back in the water alive to drown, starve or bleed to death.

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May has introduced a private member’s bill in Parliament designed to make the import of shark fins impossible under current industry conditions.

The bill would change Canada’s labelling and importing laws to make it mandatory for imports to include the type of shark and where it was caught — something that is not tracked by the vast majority of shark fisheries.

“This bill proposes a small change that will have a huge result,” the Green Party leader said in a statement. “By putting in place proper regulatory controls on shark fin sales, we will essentially stop the trade of shark fins.”

Another bill introduced last December by New Westminster-Coquitlam NDP MP Fin Donnelly explicitly proposes a ban on the import of shark fins in Canada. Ontario cities Toronto, Brantford, and Mississauga already made that move last year at the municipal level.

Rob Sinclair, executive director of WildAid Canada, a conservation group that supports both May’s and Donnelly’s bills, says May’s Bill C-417 takes a different approach with the same goal in mind.

“I will be happy if Fin Donnelly’s bill passes, I will be very happy if Elizabeth May’s bill passes,” he said. “What you’re seeing right now at a local, regional and international level is an international movement against shark fins.”

May’s bill would also make it mandatory for all shark meat sold in Canada to carry a label warning consumers about the danger of mercury contamination.

Shark finning is a controversial practice that sees fishers hack the fins off sharks and throw them back in the water alive to drown, starve or bleed to death. The industry, which is conservatively estimated to be worth $1 billion a year, threatens some shark species with extinction.

Advocates of the industry, including many restaurateurs, say shark fin soup is a staple of Chinese culture and cuisine.

May’s bill is not expected to reach second reading until next year.

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP  has introduced a private member’s bill in Parliament that would ban the sale of shark fins in Canada.

“This bill proposes a small change that will have a huge result,” the  leader said in a statement. “By putting in place proper regulatory controls on shark fin sales, we will essentially stop the trade of shark fins.”

May plans to explain the features of her bill in more depth on Wednesday.

is a controversial practice that sees fishers hack the fins off sharks and throw them back in the water alive to drown, starve or bleed to death.

The multi-billion-dollar industry threatens some shark species with extinction.

Advocates of the industry say shark fin soup is a staple of Chinese culture and cuisine.

Toronto, Branford, and Mississauga, Ont. all last October.

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