Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s biggest cargo airlines, have announced a total ban on the carriage of shark fin on their flights.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Cathay said that they have rejected 15 shipment requests for shark related products over the past 12 months, but now they are taking it one step further by imposing an outright ban.
Prior to the ban, Cathay had been practicing a “sustainable shark-fin policy”. Since 2012 they have only permitted shipments of shark products from sources of proven sustainability. But this was not enough for animal conservationists.
The concern group WildAid protested at the Hong Kong International Airport last month, demanding that Cathay implement a shark fin ban. WildAid held a similar protest in Shanghai last year.
— Cathay Pacific (@cathaypacific) 2016年6月3日
Cathay seems to have given in, according to their recent statement, saying that they “understand the community’s desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices” and are “happy to agree to ban the carriage.”
Cathay Pacific now joins HK Express and 35 other global airlines in shark fin ban. Hong Kong handles roughly half of the world’s shark fin trade each year, mainly re-exporting to mainland China.
In recent years both the governments of Hong Kong and China have banned shark fins from official banquets. Shark fin trade from Hong Kong to China saw a 90 percent drop between 2012 and 2013, with the fall attributed to President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.
By Victor Fung