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American Airlines Tweets It's Finished with Shark Fin Shipments

On Tuesday, American Airlines announced via Twitter that it no longer accepts commercial shipments of shark fin for transport — this after wildlife groups discovered the airline had shipped shark fins from Costa Rica to Asia in December.

An investigation by conservation groups Turtle Island Restoration Network and PRETOMA found that hammerhead sharks had been flown from Costa Rica to Hong Kong via stopovers in the U.S. In a statement, Turtle Island said they presented American with evidence of the fin transport and worked with the carrier on the policy shift.

In response to Twitter inquiries including one by WildAid Hong Kong campaign manager Alex Hofford, American announced publicly for the first time that it had stopped accepting shark fin shipments last month. The official end date was originally reported by the company as March 30, and later revised to March 4 in a follow-up tweet.

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WildAid Featured on QUEST

WildAid’s Peter Knights was featured on the November 25 episode of QUEST, KQED's science and conservation magazine, which explored the issue of shark finning and how one restaurant has changed its menu to comply with California’s shark-fin ban.

Sharks and Manta Protection Kicks In

Protection under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) kicks in this week for five more shark species and two manta ray species. Any trade in oceanic whitetip shark, porbeagle, scalloped hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, great hammerhead shark, and manta ray products is now to be restricted via national regulations to “avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.” The designation was passed at the CITES’ 16th Conference of the Parties in Bangkok, Thailand in March of 2013 and the listings go into effect this Sunday, September 14.

New Report Finds Shark Fin Demand Down, Awareness Up.

WildAid released its new report,“Evidence of Declines in Shark Fin Demand, China,” at a special event at The Ritz-Carlton in Beijing. The report documents falling demand and rising awareness of shark fin soup in China. Prices of shark fin have fallen by 50%-70%, and sales have decreased by 82%. The report also found higher levels of public awareness with 85% of Chinese consumers surveyed online saying that they had given up shark fin soup within the last three years.

Shark Fin Demand in China Down, Report Finds

Prices and sales of shark fin are falling in China by 50-70% according to a new report released today by WildAid. “Evidence of Declines in Shark Fin Demand, China” compiles public opinion surveys, surveys from shark fin vendors and traders in the markets of Guangzhou, China (the current center of China’s shark fin trade) and surveys of shark fin price data from Indonesian shark fishermen, as well trade statistics and media reports.

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