The family of Toronto filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart who died during a shark filming excursion in the Florida Keys is supporting a motion by Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam to ban the sale of shark fins.
Brian, Sandy, and Alexandra Stewart, the parents and sister of Rob, will speak to the media at Toronto City Hall Thursday morning.
The motion, which is seconded by Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker, calls on members of city council to support a federal bill introduced by Sen. Michael McDonald in April to make the importation of shark fins illegal in Canada.
In October 2011, city councillors voted on a bylaw that would see the banning of possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.
The bylaw passed by an overwhelming vote of vote of 38 to 4, but was challenged by members of the Chinese business community. In 2012, the ban was declared invalid by an Ontario Superior Court judge.
More than 10,000 people have since signed an online petition created in memory of Stewart asking the city to reopen a ban on the sale of shark fins in Toronto.
Stewart, 37, died while diving in January off the coast of Islamorada, Fla., to film a follow-up to his 2006 documentary “Sharkwater”, which looked at the impact of shark hunting on the ocean’s ecosystem.
The filmmaker’s family launched a wrongful death lawsuit in March.
Council members are expected to vote on the motion this week.
VIDEO: Toronto woman starts petition to ban sale of shark fins in memory of Rob Stewart