It’s a trend many are happy to see take off. Airlines are increasingly banning the carriage of shark fins on aircraft thanks to publicity machines around the world, most especially in the Asia Pacific.

While much of the shark fin cargo is bound for Hong Kong (more than 10,300 tonnes last year) where shark fin soup is an expensive delicacy, environmental groups in the city have led a global campaign to halt the practice and effectively used the media to name and shame airlines publicly who transport fins into the city.

Cathay Pacific halted the carrying of shark fin cargo last year, and at the same time Fiji Airways (then Air Pacific) increased their airfreight to almost 1000 tonnes. Bowing to public pressure both Cathay and Fiji Airways now only ship sustainably sourced product.

Both Qantas and Air New Zealand last week announced a complete ban on the carriage, joining Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

It’s estimated that 83 countries supplied more than 10,000 tonnes of shark fin products to Hong Kong in the last twelve months alone, with 10 per cent delivered by air. Fins can sell on average at HK$3,500 per pound according to environmentalists hence an extremely lucrative business. It remains to be seen whether other airlines will feel the publicity pinch and join the current momentum of airlines pressured to reveal their policies for the carriage of the product.

Feature image TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)


About The Author

A travel junkie and explorer, Anita has spent over a decade in Asia, the majority in and around Macau and Hong Kong. As an Australian living abroad Asia fascinated her, and combined with her love of writing, resulted in a very busy freelance journalism and copywriting career which saw her work published in loads of travel, lifestyle and business magazines and newspapers, all over the world. Anita also provided the narrative for a 220 page hardcover book chronicling the rise of Macau over the last ten years, through photography. She moved to Bali in Indonesia in 2009 and sits on her ‘coconut island’, sharing travel inspiration through words as Wego's Director of PR, and editor in chief. She’s known as the ‘word queen’ in the office and likes to laugh, a lot.

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