The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) received calls from people concerned that Loblaws, Canada's largest supermarket chain was selling ‘Shark Fin Soup’ as a special Chinese New Year’s treat. Knowing that sharks are being killed in the tens of millions -- research of the years 1996-2000 estimated an annual average of 38 million -- and that this will lead to the eventual extinction of a key part of the oceans’ food chain. We immediately contacted the office of Galen Weston, President of the nationwide stores.
The HSC Chairman & CEO Michael O'Sullivan explains his firsthand experience of seeing how shark fins are actually obtained: "Sharks are deliberately caught as wel as a by-catch by fishermen, and their meat is generally unwanted. However, their fins are a prized delicacy in some cultures; and so, fisherman slice off the fins of living animals and then dump the still living shark back into the ocean. The shark then suffers an agonizing slow death as it bleeds, drowns, and suffocates."
Within two days, after high level discussions, Loblaws contacted us to confirm they had pulled all shark fin soup from their shelves -- and as importantly asked to meet with us to discuss their entire range of animal products to determine how they could be more selective and humane. We are grateful to Loblaws for sending a signal that their ethics include people, animals and the environment, and we look forward to seeing direct meaningful results following our initial meetings with them.
Shark fin soup sales decline: Welt Online
Asian demand for Shark products behind falling populations: Canada.com