A YOUNG environmental campaigner is pushing to rid the Yarra Ranges of shark fin soup.
Jordan Crook, the council's young environmental achiever of the year, has developed the Fin Free Ranges project after learning about the methods sometimes used overseas to obtain the fins.
Shark finning - the process of catching a shark and cutting off its fin then throwing it back in the water alive - is banned in Australia but is still prevalent in other countries and local restaurants are still buying imported fins to use in dishes.
At its meeting last week, Yarra Ranges Council voted unanimously in support of Mr Crook's campaign.
"I did a year of research on the topic and found out it really is a big problem," he said. "My issue is not with people eating shark fin but with they way they take it and the amount that is being taken. That is why shark populations are dropping so drastically."
Mr Crook, 20, said part of his research included visiting every Asian restaurant within each town in the Yarra Ranges to establish which ones sold shark fin soup.
His research showed there were six restaurants - in Upwey, Montrose, Lilydale and Mooroolbark - serving shark fin out of about 50 visited.
Mr Crook, who works as an apprentice plumber, said he also visited wholesale outlets that sold shark fin and said he discovered tinned and dry shark fin that was imported.
The council will now write to the businesses supplying imported shark fin soup expressing its opposition to the practice of shark finning. It also plans to write to other councils in the state and the federal Environment Minister Tony Burke advising them of the campaign.
"It was surprising and overwhelming to have support I received from the council. It was really great," Mr Crook said.
Cr Samantha Dunn described the process of shark finning as "completely barbaric" and said it was important council took a stand on the issue.
Cr Noel Cliff said the "disgusting and primitive" act of finning should be brought to the attention of all councils. "If it was a dolphin this was happening to we'd all go nuts."
All councillors congratulated Mr Crook on being proactive in his push and for coming to council to seek support.