Airline stops transport of sharks’ fins
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is to stop carrying shark fins as cargo, bowing to pressure from conservation groups as China’s appetite for shark-fin soup soars.
“Due to the vulnerable nature of sharks, their rapidly declining population, and the impacts of overfishing for their parts, our carriage of these is inconsistent with our commitment to sustainable development,” a Cathay spokesman said.
Shark-fin soup has long been a staple of Chinese banquets and its consumption is becoming more commonplace as incomes in China rise.
Cathay is the biggest airline in Hong Kong, which is estimated to account for about half of the global trade in shark fins. The company is also one of the world’s biggest cargo airlines.
“The decision will not have a material impact on business,” spokeswoman Elin Wong said.
Cathay’s decision comes after it received a letter in July from 40 conservation groups. Citing government statistics, they said more than 10,200 tonnes of shark fin were imported into Hong Kong last year, 13 per cent of that by air cargo.
The Cathay announcement follows similar moves by other high-profile groups. The luxury Peninsula and Shangri-la hotel chains have said they would stop serving shark fin. In July, the Chinese government said it would stop serving shark-fin soup at official receptions.
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