Air China joins 35 other air carriers in policy to save sharks and ban the carriage of shark fin as Fed Ex sits on their hands and ignores call to save sharks.
Air China has become the first airline in mainland China to ban shark fin cargo, marking a dramatic shift in attitudes toward trade in endangered sharks. In a press statement, Air China Cargo said it had a “long-standing commitment to playing our role in a more sustainable world” and acknowledged the unsustainability of the global shark trade.” Following the decision by shipping company Chinese Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco) to stop carrying shark fins in July 2016, this mark as a significant change in Chinese business practices regarding sharks.
Scientists estimate that over one hundred million sharks are killed each year, primarily for the shark fin trade. The demand for shark fin and overfishing sharks is having a long term impact on global shark populations and marine ecosystems.
Following pressure from advocacy groups like Shark Stewards, WildAid and others, UPS acknowledged the concerns about enforcement problems and the adequacy of visual inspections to determine whether shark fins belonged to endangered species and dropped shark fin from their cargo.
When asked to join DHL and UPS, the major courier service FedEx said its service terms and conditions prohibit any shipments that violate applicable laws or regulations.
Sign the letter urging CEO David Broziok to join 35 airlines including UPS, DHL and China Air to help save sharks from extinction and stop the carriage of shark fin.
Dating back over 1000 years to an Emperor of the Sung Dynasty, shark’s fin soup has been considered a delicacy associated with wealth and prestige. The dish is widely consumed celebrations and ceremonial events such as banquets and weddings in Asia and in the west.
In the past two decades consumption and demand for shark fin have escalated, associated with the increase in wealth among middle class Chinese. Since 2013 China has taken steps to restrict shark fin consumption by banning shark’s fin soup from official banquets as part of a campaign against government corruption and extravagance.Pressure from action groups has decreased shark fin demand and imports, but the trade in illegal, unregulated or unreported sharks is still far too high.
Sharks are among the ocean’s top predators and play a vital role in the marine ecosystem, but the $1 billion annual trade in shark fin has sent their numbers plummeting worldwide. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature places 74 species of sharks as threatened with extinction; 11 are critically endangered, while 15, including the great hammerhead shark, are classified as endangered.
Air China’s decision will also put more pressure on China Southern Airlines, headquartered in Guangzhou, infamous for its wildlife market and is a major shark fin trade hub.
At least 35 other airlines and 17 global container shipping lines around the world have also signed up to the campaign to ban the shipment of shark fin.
Airlines that have banned shark fins
Virgin Atlantic Airways (2011)
Etihad Airways (2013)
Air New Zealand (2013)
Asiana Airlines (2013)
Korean Airlines (2013)
Eva Air (2013)
LAN Chile/LATAM Airlines Group (2013)
Garuda Indonesia (2013)
Qatar Airways (2013)
KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) (2013)
Air Asia (2014)
Philippine Airlines (PAL) (2014)
Air Seychelles (2014)
Singapore Airlines (2014)
Thai Airways (2014)
Cebu Pacific (2014)
Swiss Airways (2014)
Air France (2014)
Jet Airways (2014)
China Airlines of Taiwan (2014)
American Airlines (2015)
Sri Lankan Airlines (2015)
Kenya Airways (2016)
British Airways (2016)
Cathay Pacific Airways (2016)
HK Express (2016)
Malaysia Air Berhad (2016)
United Airlines (2016)
United Parcel Service (2016)
Air China (2017)