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Air Pacific becomes latest airline to ban shark fins

June 27, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Fiji’s national airline Air Pacific (which today, Thursday 27 June, will officially switch to its new name Fiji Airways) has announced that it will stop carrying unsustainably sourced shark fins.

Fiji Airways will from now on freight shipments of shark-related products only if they come from verifiably sustainable sources.250x250px

Korean Air revealed last week that it had stopped carrying shark fins (an Asian delicacy used in soups) since March. Cathay Pacific, Asiana and Air New Zealand have already stopped freighting shark fins.

With no limitations on shark fishing in open oceans worldwide, environmental campaigners fear many shark species are heading for extinction. Often, when sharks are caught their fins are lopped off and the sharks are then dumped back into the sea to die. The process is known as “finning” and environmental groups estimate 73 million sharks are finned a year.

In China, shark-fin soup is a status symbol, with older people insisting on it at weddings. Hong Kong is the main transit point, handling about half of the global shark fin trade.

Attitudes in China are changing, especially among the younger generation. The Chinese government has reportedly decreed that shark-fin soup will no longer be served at official banquets. Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma has joined Nature Conservancy, a charity campaigning to protect sharks, and basketball star Yao Ming is backing the issue.

Only about 10% of shark fins are air freighted but every attempt to restrict the trade helps.

Written by : Peter Needham

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