RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – Restaurants are being advised to carefully consider whether they should be serving shark fin soup.

A delegation is going before Richmond City Council Monday, asking for a ban on the delicacy.

Ian Tostenson with the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association says the industry looks better if it moves on its own to scrap the controversial dish.
“The risk is that it’s going to be banned, so we’re better off as an industry to move towards doing a voluntary removal of it, as opposed to more regulation,” suggests Tostenson.

Port Moody and Coquitlam are among the cities to already make the sale of shark fins illegal.

Tostenson admits that kind of bylaw may be required to get some restaurants to eliminate shark fins.

“Regulation comes in to play only when, and if the industry doesn’t want to comply,” he explains.

People opposed to the trade call it cruel, and worry shark populations are being threatened by the harvesting of fins.

Often after having their fins removed, the shark’s body is tossed back in the water, letting the animal die on the sea floor.

“The industry looks better by just doing the right thing,” says Tostenson.

Those pushing for shark fin bans see Richmond as a critical municipality to get on board because of the huge number of Chinese seafood restaurants in the city.