HONG KONG (July 24, 2016) — China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd., one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, has announced that it will ban all shark fin shipments, joining a growing number of transport and logistics companies standing up against a brutal trade that kills millions of sharks annually.
Also known as “scaly anteaters,” pangolins are small insectivores from Asia and Africa that are unique among mammals for their large, overlapping scales made of keratin — the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. Consumer demand for pangolin scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as pangolin meat have led to rampant poaching. In fact, the pangolin is considered by many to be the most-trafficked mammal on earth: All eight pangolin species are at risk of extinction.
According to a government press release issued Tuesday, officials seized 259 bags containing about 7 tons of suspected pangolin scales — more than the weight of the average African elephant. The scales were found via routine random inspection of a shipment arriving from Nigeria that had been falsely declared as “660 bags of recycled plastic particles.”
Many countries employ different tools to combat IUU, including setting catch limits and quotas for fisheries, providing bycatch reduction gear, zoning their marine areas, satellite monitoring and enforcement.
Recently, the United Nations made a historic first step in combatting IUU through the ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement. Originally signed in 2009 by the FAO, the Port State Measures Agreement required a minimum of 25 countries to ratify the agreement for it to take effect.
HONG KONG (July 3, 2016) — Activists dressed in blood-stained shark costumes demonstrated Saturday outside a FedEx depot in Hong Kong to protest the shipping continued shipments of cruel and unsustainable shark fin.
With over 100 million sharks slaughtered annually, in large part driven by the demand for shark fin soup in Hong Kong and China, many shark species are being driven towards extinction. Over the past 15 years, Hong Kong has accounted for 50% of the global shark fin trade.
“Logistics companies like FedEx provide critical links in a long supply chain from the illegal fishing boats in far away oceans to the mouths and throats of Hong Kong consumers,” said WildAid Hong Kong’s Alex Hofford. “We urge FedEx to do the right thing, and take a bold step to protect sharks – just as its industry competitor UPS did so in 2015, and Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific did last month.”