BY ALEX HOFFORD-WILDAID HONG KONG SAR

Anger at Cathay Pacific for their stubborn stance on shark fin cargo shipments has been building for some time. This past weekend, it erupted in a flashmob protest at the airline’s check-in counters at Hong Kong International Airport.

The members of the public who voiced their disgust during this weekend’s protest were obviously not doing so for fun, but as a last resort.

Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used each year for shark fin soup. After removing the fins, poachers return sharks to the ocean, often still alive.

Sustainable shark fin is a total impossibility, which is why “No Shark Fin” carriage policies are now mainstream aviation industry best practice. That’s also why we at WildAid Hong Kong SAR cannot understand why Cathay Pacific won’t simply join 35 other global airlines in implementing a meaningful shark fin ban.

What is clear, however, is that Cathay Pacific is pandering to the shark fin trade, as vested interests profit from overfishing and the extinction of sharks.

We’ve asked Cathay Pacific how many tonnes of shark fin they still ship every year, but they won’t tell us. Neither will Cathay Pacific tell us how they can ensure the legality of the shark fin it transports.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific pilots are telling us that tonnes of shark fin are still entering Hong Kong SAR via the short-haul Asia regional routes from Indonesia, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

Tell Cathay Pacific to stop shipping shark fin. Sign the petition here.

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About WildAid

WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. 

Journalists on deadline may email communications@wildaid.org