Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support Bill C-380, introduced by my colleague from New Westminster—Coquitlam. This bill would amend the Fish Inspection Act to prohibit the importation of shark fins that are not attached to the rest of the shark. It would also amend the Fisheries Act to prohibit the practice of shark finning.
This has already been mentioned a number of times today, but it is worth repeating that every year, up to 100 million sharks of all species—even endangered species—die because of shark finning and overfishing. This number far surpasses biologically sustainable levels.
Sharks are vital to the long-term health of the oceans. Their disappearance would have unforseeable consequences for the oceans, particularly for marine habitats and fisheries.
The shark fin trade is a horrific practice that involves cutting off a shark's fins on a fishing vessel and then throwing the living animal back into the ocean. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
I fully support this bill. A survey carried out by Humane Society International at the beginning of 2013 showed that 81% of Canadians support prohibiting the importation of shark fins into Canada.
I have examined this issue from every angle. I see nothing but good reasons for moving forward with prohibiting the importation of shark fins.
As elected members of Parliament, our job is to represent the interests of Canadians in the House of Commons. The statistics are clear. The importation of shark fins must be banned. Mustel Group's statistics were similar to what the Humane Society of Canada came up with.
In the time I have left, I want to congratulate my colleague from New Westminster—Coquitlam for his work on this issue. He held a number of consultations to prepare a truly balanced bill. I congratulate him on that, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the vote, since I think this is worthwhile. We are here to protect our ecosystems. We must leave a better world for our children. I look forward to seeing how this turns out. I want to see the bill sent to committee.