08/15/2012 10:46 EDT | Updated 10/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Nanaimo Shark Fin Ban: B.C. City Latest To Ban Practice

This Feb. 14, 2011 file photo shows a bowl of shark fin soup being served at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown. Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he signed a bill banning the sale, trade and possession of shark fins to protect the world's dwindling shark population. Brown signed AB376 over objections that the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
NANAIMO, B.C. - Nanaimo, B.C., has joined a handful of Canadian cities and U.S. states in banning the sale of shark fins.

Nanaimo is now the first city on Vancouver Island to ban the use of shark fins, joining Port Moody, Coquitlam, in B.C., Calgary and four Ontario cities, in restricting the sale or use of fins.

Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii have similar bans in the growing movement against "finning," the practice of catching sharks, cutting off their fins, then dumping the creature back into the ocean where it is left to die.

In supporting the ban, Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan calls finning "abhorrent."

Shark fins are the main ingredient in shark fin soup, a traditional and expensive Chinese delicacy served at special events such as weddings.

Critics blame finning for contributing to the dramatic decline of many shark species in oceans around the globe. (CKAY)