FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2013 file photo, a worker collects pieces of shark fins dried on the rooftop of a factory building in Hong Kong. For centuries, shark fin, usually served as soup, has been a coveted delicacy in Chinese cooking. In the United States, members of the fishing industry say they will dig in against 2016 legislation in Congress that proponents believe will help shut down the country’s shark fin industry for good. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Inhumane practice of carving fins off live sharks to become illegal in Canada

Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia

Carving fins off live sharks and leaving them in the ocean to drown will be illegal in Canada as early as Friday.

READ MORE: UBCM supports shark fin industry fight

Importing shark fins that are no longer attached to a shark will also be illicit as part of efforts to prevent Canada from being complicit in the practice of shark finning elsewhere.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says shark finning has been barred as a condition of getting a fishing license since 1994 but legislation that passed through Parliament this week will make it illegal in any circumstance.

He says the practice is inhumane and unsustainable, with one-third of the shark fins sold around the world coming from endangered shark species.

Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.

The ban will take effect when the legislation can be proclaimed, which is expected Friday.

The Canadian Press

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