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Inhumane practice of carving fins off live sharks to become illegal in Canada

A worker cuts a shark fin at a fish market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tuesday, June 12, 2012 . Carving fins off live sharks and leaving them in the ocean to drown will become illegal in Canada as early as Friday. So will importing shark fins that are not still attached to a shark, to prevent Canada from being complicit in the practice of shark finning elsewhere.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kamran Jebreili

OTTAWA — Carving fins off live sharks and leaving them in the ocean to drown will be illegal in Canada as early as Friday.

Importing shark fins that are no longer attached to a shark will also be illicit as part of efforts to prevent Canada from being complicit in the practice of shark finning elsewhere.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says shark finning has been barred as a condition of getting a fishing license since 1994 but legislation that passed through Parliament this week will make it illegal in any circumstance.

He says the practice is inhumane and unsustainable, with one-third of the shark fins sold around the world coming from endangered shark species.

Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.

The ban will take effect when the legislation can be proclaimed, which is expected Friday.

The Canadian Press