Despite a recent ruling out of Ontario that struck down a shark fin bylaw in Toronto, Port Moody's top politician is confident the city's version of a ban could withstand a test in court.
Mayor Mike Clay explained Port Moody's ban on shark fins is written into the city's business licensing process, unlike the one in Toronto, and should stand up to a legal challenge.
"When you're applying for your business licence, we're making it a term and condition of your business licence," he told The NOW.
The judge in the Toronto case stated that city's bylaw was outside of its powers, striking down the ban.
Clay said Port Moody knew it didn't have the authority to restrict the importation, distribution or sale of shark fins on its own when it embarked on its bylaw.
Instead, he noted the legal advice was to put the restriction on a business licence, which the city has more power to control, much like the restrictions in place for a bar or adult video shop.
Last spring, Port Moody became the first municipality in the province to pass a shark fin ban.
Other Lower Mainland cities like Coquitlam, Richmond and Vancouver are also considering banning the item.
At the time Port Moody council passed the bylaw, it was noted no restaurants in the city offer shark fin on the menu.
And six months into the ban, Clay doesn't expect a challenge to the city's bylaw.
While the mayor said he would continue to recommend other cities follow the Port Moody model, he'd like to see the federal government step up and set regulations around shark fins so cities don't have to deal with the issue instead.
The ban was originally discussed at an April council meeting after a delegation made up of residents and wildlife groups asked politicians to consider such a bylaw.
Those opposed to the practice of eating shark fin soup cited several reasons for the ban, including the inhumane treatment of the sharks during the process of collecting the fins, the effects the slaughter of the sharks has on the ecosystem and the criminality behind the trade.
The practice of collecting shark fins has been criticized because the fins are often cut off, while the live shark is thrown back into the water.