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Review of shark legislation in Canada as a conservation tool


  • Sybersma, Stacie


Sharks are threatened from overfishing due to their life cycle biology, and unsustainably high catch rates to supply fins for shark fin soup. Canada, a leader in shark conservation uses numerous legislative tools to help conserve sharks. These tools include international treaty obligations under the Northeastern Atlantic Fisheries Organization [NAFO] and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna [ICCAT], as well as national and provincial legislation including the Fisheries Act, Pacific and Atlantic Fisheries Regulations, and Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. Through the use of these legislative tools Canada has successfully banned shark finning in its waters, and implemented closed seasons, gear restrictions, and species restrictions to help manage shark populations. However, Canada still allows the sale of shark fin products locally, and allows the exportation of shark fins internationally. In order for Canada to maintain its leadership status Canada must increase legislative protection of sharks by following international best practices, and ban the sale and exportation of shark fin products. This would ensure that Canada does not play a role in global supply or demand of shark fins. Doing so would strengthen Canada's position as a leader in shark conservation, and improve the legislation currently used as a conservation tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Sybersma, Stacie, 2015. "Review of shark legislation in Canada as a conservation tool," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 121-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:121-126
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.07.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davis, Brendal & Worm, Boris, 2013. "The International Plan of Action for Sharks: How does national implementation measure up?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 312-320.
    2. Techera, Erika J. & Klein, Natalie, 2011. "Fragmented governance: Reconciling legal strategies for shark conservation and management," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 73-78, January.
    3. Worm, Boris & Davis, Brendal & Kettemer, Lisa & Ward-Paige, Christine A. & Chapman, Demian & Heithaus, Michael R. & Kessel, Steven T. & Gruber, Samuel H., 2013. "Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 194-204.
    4. Herndon, Andrew & Gallucci, Vincent F. & DeMaster, Douglas & Burke, William, 2010. "The case for an international commission for the conservation and management of sharks (ICCMS)," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1239-1248, November.
    5. Godin, Aurelie Cosandey & Worm, Boris, 2010. "Keeping the lead: How to strengthen shark conservation and management policies in Canada," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 995-1001, September.
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