Press Release – Sien Lok Society of Calgary

Sien Lok Society Seeks Elimination of Shark’s Fin from Calgary Menus

Sien Lok Society of Calgary supports the creation of an education initiative and legislative controls to rapidly eliminate the sale of shark food products in the City of Calgary.

CALGARY, CANADA.  July 14, 2012.

The Sien Lok Society of Calgary (“Sien Lok” [pronounced ‘seen lock’]), is providing local support for the global “Shark Fin Free Initiative” by seeking action from Calgary City Council and Calgary-area merchants to see the rapid elimination of shark products from restaurant menus and shops.

Mr. Kevin Wong, President of Sien Lok stated, “In recognition of broad scientific evidence demonstrating the health risk in consumption of modern shark products;  and the global environmental risks that result from overfishing of various shark species primarily for their fins as ingredients in soup, we are supporting a global movement to see the cessation of shark product sales; until a sustainable and safe source of shark product can be found.”

“Until such an option is available, we support the elimination of shark-based products from Calgary restaurant menus; and instead encourage restaurants and merchants to use readily-available, non-toxic, and inexpensive alternatives such as ‘glass’ noodles.”

Mr. Wong added, “As a progressive Chinese-Canadian cultural society, whose aim is to preserve and promote Asian culture in Canada, we believe that culture must adapt over time.  Given scientific concerns regarding the health hazards of high-mercury concentrations in shark fin meat, and the broad scientific and severe ecological concern for shark species survival, we believe that the time has come for immediate action on this issue.”

Mr. Wong states, “We believe that the elimination of one ingredient, in one menu item, is a small challenge that Calgary-area merchants can surmount with little or no negative impact to cultural heritage or preservation.  This is especially so given that a low-cost, much more profitable, non-toxic and readily available alternative can be had today.”

Sien Lok states it is ready to assist Calgary City Council and Calgary-area merchants in an educational initiative to accelerate awareness of the issues surrounding shark fin product consumption and sales; and are also asking Calgary City Council to enact the rapid legislative phasing-out of shark fin products from the City of Calgary.

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